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or THE 



By AUGUSTUS PUGIN, Architect; 












GOT 12 1965 ^. 






Though a number of years have elapsed since the first publication of 
Pugin and Le Keux' Arcliitectural Antiquities of Normandy, it is still 
regarded as the chief standard Work on the architecture of that country; 
and it Avould be difficult to select better examples for publication than 
those which were chosen by Pugin, notwithstanding our far greater 
knowledge of the country and its buildings at the present day. It would 
scarcely be too much to assert that no work has appeared since, which by 
the beauty of its engravings and the accuracy of the measured drawings 
they represent, has a greater claim to the careful study of every archi- 
tect, draughtsman, or archaeologist, who seeks to realize for himself the 
development of French architecture in Normandy during five and a half 

In fact, when we consider the immense progress which has taken 
place during the last forty years in the true knowledge of medieval archi- 
tecture, and how, step by step, the vague theories of its rise and develop- 
ment have been displaced by sound scientific knowledge, we are astoun- 
ded that drawings, made so long ago, should not only show a perfect 
mastery of rule and compass, but display the most intimate acquaintance 
with all the artistic and scientific problems of the buildings represented. 
In these drawings the formation of the ribs and webs of vaulting, their 
true curvatures, and the constructive lines of every part of the buildings, 
are indicated with a truth that few draughtsmen of the present day could 
hope to rival ; whilst the character and vigour of the foliage, and other 

carved ornament, especially that of the Flamboyant period, has been ren- 



dered in a manner that has never been equalled in any more recent 

Photography and the development of lithographic drawing have now 
unfortunately in this country almost superseded the more tedious and 
expensive process of line engraving; but, whether for beauty and per- 
fection of drawing, or for accuracy in the lines, the latter must ever be 
pre-eminent. The great reputation of the Le Keuxs as architectural 
engravers, is fully sustained by the admirable plates in this work on 
the architecture of Normandy. 

To the architectural student the w^ork is of twofold interest. 

1st. It shows the exact nature of the kind of drawing it is most 
useful to make when engaged in measuring or delineating ancient work. 
2d. The drawings give a succinct yet complete history of the successive 
phases of the Norman style, of the development of Pointed Architecture, 
and of its ultimate decadence in that province of France, which, to 
British architects and archaeologists, is by far the most interesting. 
Thus, in the illustrations of the " Abbaye aux Hommes," and " Abbaye 
aux Dames," and the Church of St. Nicholas, at Caen — the Churches of 
Thaon near Caen, of St. Loup near Bayeux, and portions of Bayeux Ca- 
thedral — the student will find the most peifect series of the successive 
phases of the Norman style ; in the choirs of the " Abbaye aux Hommes," 
Caen, and of Bayeux Cathedral — and in the tower of St. Peter's at Caen 
— that variet}' of thirteenth-century architecture which prevailed in Nor- 
mandy, and w^hich, while it presents so many differences in detail and 
execution from the architecture of the Isle of France, assimilates so 
much to our own. 

In the Plates of St. Ouen, Rouen, are presented a series of dra wrings 
of the most complete and typical specimen of fourteenth-century French 
Gothic ; whilst in those of the Palais cle Justice, the Fountains, the Hotel 
Bourgtheroulde, the "Abbaye St. Amand," the staircases and other fea- 
tures of Notre Dame, and the Church of St. Maclou, all at Rouen — the 


doorway of St. Michael, Vaucelles, in Caen — and the Church at Caudebec — 
the application of the French Flamboyant architecture of the fifteenth 
century, to both secular and ecclesiastical buildings, is delineated with 
an accuracy and vigour to be fully appreciated only by those who have 
attempted to transfer to paper its intricate and delicate forms. 

In the choice of examples the selections for illustration are so made 
and arranged that the student is led step by step through that develop- 
ment of style which, starting with the simple, bold architecture of the 
early Norman period, and passing through all those stages of progress in 
which the pointed arch forms so essential a feature, arrives at the most 
exquisite and elaborate forms of Flamboyant work, thence leading almost 
imperceptibly into the early French Renaissance. 

The emendations and additions made in this edition are as follows: 
The plates have undergone a careful revision, and it will be found that 
the impressions now furnished may compare with those in the first edi- 
tion without disadvantage. With exception of two plates hitherto tinted 
by hand, and which, from their crudeness of colour, were apt to deceive 
rather than guide the student, the whole series, extending to seventy- 
eight plates, is published in its integrity. A plan of the "Abbaye aux 
Dames," Caen, measured and drawn by the Editor expressly for this 
edition, forms an additional plate. With exception of a small woodcut 
in a work by M. Ruprich Robert, no plan of this interesting building has 
been published hitherto. 

In the revision of the text the Editor has deemed it expedient to strike 
out all those parts which subsequent investigations have shown to be 
inexact and fallacious. The greater j)ortion of the text is re-arranged, and 
a more complete and satisfactory description of every building illustrated 
is given, the dates being corrected where necessary. An account is also 
added of the development of Gothic vaulting, tracing its history by 
means of the illustrated examples. To a considerable extent the addi- 
tional information is given in the form of extracts from the works of 


recent authors wliose writings are considered authoritative. All the 
additioiLS, whether in the text or notes, are distinguished by being in- 
closed in square brackets [ ]. With a view to this revision, the 
Editor has visited the greater number of the buildings illustrated, and has 
consulted all the books published on the subject, so far as he is aware of 
their existence, and of these last he appends a list for the benefit of such 
of his readers as may desire to pursue this study farther. 

London, April, 1874. R. PHENE SPIERS. 



The present work originated with the Artists whose names appear in 
the title-page; and who, from predilection for architectural antiquities, 
and from some experience in the execution of works illustrative of the 
ancient buildings in England, persuaded themselves th^t a series of 
Engravings, which should define and clearly exemplify the Christian 
Architecture of Normandy, would be at once useful and popular. Influ- 
enced by corresponding feelings and conviction, the writer of this Preface 
was induced to co-operate with his friends, and enter warmly and 
zealously into the plan. He wrote a prospectus, assisted in arranging 
and digesting the work, and advised with Mr. Pugin previous to his 
visits to Normandy. It was also his intention, when he first engaged in 
the work, to see and examine all the buildings delineated, and to write 
the accounts of them after careful examination.' This intention was 

^ This lias ahvay.s been his practice with tlie Architectural and Cathedral Antiquities, in which works 
he has devoted much time to local investigations, and many hundreds of pounds in collecting materials 
and in travelling expenses. 


frustrated by illness, at the very time when he had prepared for a 
journey into Normandy. Thus disappointed, he wrote down particular 
instructions, and sent them, with letters of inquiry, to distinguished 
antiquaries in the province. Waiting for, and expecting answers, — 
anxious to render the history and description of each building, and of 
every variety of architecture, original, accurate, and discriminating, he 
has delayed the publication, and even now has been imj^elled to hasten 
it through the press, without obtaining the answers and information he 
sought for, and consequently without satisfying himself in many parts 
of its execution. 

It may be necessary to explain the reason of affixing the word 
Editor to the name of the writer of this Preface, — a thing so unusual 
to him, — for there are still many persons, even in England, who do not 
clearly discriminate the distinction between that and the word Author. 
According to the most correct interpretation, the latter applies strictly 
and exclusively to the writer of a book or literary essay; and Editor 
means the person who superintends, directs, and occasionally writes a 
part or parts of a miscellaneous publication, such as a newspaper, maga- 
zine, review, &c. The Author, as Gibbon, Hume, Sir Walter Scott, &c., 
is the writer, the sole comjjoser, of a book, to which his name is attached: 
whilst the Editor, as Campbell, Lockhart, Barnes, &c., is the director, and 
partly the writer, of a periodical work, such as the Neiu Moivthly Maga- 
zine, the Quarterly Review, The Times: by the same rule, the writer of 
this Preface is Editor of the volume, and also author of its principal 
contents. He likewise edited two former volumes of a corresponding 
class, entitled " Specimeiis of Gothic Architecture;" but in that instance 
did not insert his name in the title-page ; nor was he at all desirous of 
announcing it, or taking the responsibility of the present publication. 
Averse as he always has been to anonymous writings, he deemed it most 
honourable to avow his name on this occasion, and be at once amenable 
for defects as he is entitled to his fair portion of credit. He deems it 


merely justice to himself to make this explanation, which will also 
account for the origin and completion of the volume; and this he hopes 
will give the student in ancient architecture more satisfaction than it 
has afforded to himself His views and wishes at the commencement 
were to investigate the history, and definitely characterize the ancient 
architecture, of Normandy, — to ascertain and point out what is really 
indigenous and what is exotic, — to show when and by whom its various 
changes of style were effected, and how these were progressively im- 
proved, — to seek diligently and scrupulously to ascertain the origin of 
the pointed style, and to compare and contrast the correspondencies and 
varieties of the architecture of Normandy with the contemporary archi- 
tecture of England. These points he considered to be desidei'ata in 
English literature, and these he had marked out to himself as objects for 
inquiry and for accomplishment. Thwarted in his wishes and intentions, 
he looks forward with anxiety to The Society of Antiquaries of Nor- 
mandy for the accomplishment of this, or for something of the like 
nature; and from the Essays already published by that Society, and from 
the zeal and knowledge some of its enlightened members have evinced, 
he is persuaded that such a publication can be produced by them jointly, 
if not by any single member. To that Society the writer of this Preface 
tenders his best wishes and thanks, for the compliment they have paid 
him in making him an Honorary Member. To John Coles, Esq., Daw^son 
Turner, Esq., and Mr. S. Tymms, he is also obliged for useful hints, and 
to the latter gentleman for some of the ensuing Essays. 


London, Jxi-m 20, 1828. 







X. XL 
XII. . 



XV. . 






CAEN, near. — Chapel of La Grande Maladreeie, Frontispiece. 

. . . Window and Details. 

Church of St. Stephen. — L'Abbaye aux Ilommes, .... 

. Ground Plan of the Abbey Church. 

. Exterior Perspective View from the North-west. 

. Interior, Perspective View. 

. Nave, Exterior Elevation, Transverse Section, and Plan of 

. Nave, Interior Elevation of two Compartments. 

. Sacristy, Transverse Section, Plan, and Details. 

. Sacristy, Longitudinal Section. 

. Choir, Exterior and Interior, Elevation and Section of One Com- 

. Apse, Elevation, Section, and Plan of One Compartment. 

. DECOR-iTm; Features, Details of. 

Church of the Holy Trinity. — L'Abbaye aux Barnes, . . 

Entrance Gateway, Elevation, Section, and Plan. 

Crypt beneath East End of the Choir, Plan, and Two Sections. 

Capitals and Bases from the Crj^t, Nave, and Transept. 

Interior, Perspective View, looking East. 

Ground Plan of the Abbey Church. 

Nave, Interior, Elevation of a Compartment, Section, and Details. 

Church of St. Nicholas, 

Apse, Transverse Section, Plan, and Details. 
Apse, Exterior Elevation and Longitudinal Section. 

near. — Thaon Church, 

. South Elevation, Plan and Details. 












XXIV. . . . 


XXVII. . . . 


XXX. . . . 





XL. . . 

XLI. . 

Caen, near. — Thaon Church, 

. . . East and West Ends, Elevation and Details. 

. . . Tower, Elevation, Section, and Plans. 

BAYEUX, near. — Church of St. Loup, 

. . . Tower of the Church, Elevation, Plans, and Details. 

BAYEUX, Cathedral of, 

Ground Plan of the whole Building. 

West Front, Elevation. 

Interior, Perspective View from the West. 

Nave, Elevation, Section, and Plans of a Compartment. 

Nave, Details of. 

Choir, Transverse Section of Half of the Choir, Two Aisles, and 

Crypt, with Plan. 
Choir, Elevation, Interior and Exterior of One Compartment, 

with Crypt. 

CAEN. — Church of St. Peter, 

. . . Tower and Spire, Elevation, Section, and Plans 

Ducal Palace at 

. . . Exterior antd Interior, Elevation and Section, with Plan. 

ROUEN.— Church of St. Ouen, 

Grountd Plan of the whole Building. 

Interior, Perspective View, looking East. 

Nave, Elevation and Transverse Section of One Compartment, 

with Aisle. 
Doorway on the South Side, Elevation and Section. 
Circular Window, West Front, Elevation. 
Circular Window, West Front, one quarter shown large, with 


Church of St. Vincent, 

XLIV I . . . West Porch, Plan and Section. 

XLV I . . . West Porch, Elevation and Details. 













L. . . 

LI. . 
LII. . 
LIII. . 
LIV. . 



LIX. . 
LX. . 
LXI. . 



ROUEN. — Nunnery of St. Clair, . . 
. . . Gateway, Elevation, Section, &c. 

Fountain de la Crosse, .... 
. Elevation, Plan, and Details. 

Stone Cross and Circular Turret, 
. Elevation and Plan. 

Palais de Justice, 

Ground Plan of the whole Buildings, Elevation of South Side, 

and Section of Salle des Procureurs. 
Interior of the Court, Perspective View. 
South Front, Elevation of a Compartment, Section, and Details. 
Turret od the North Side, Elevation, Plan, and Details. 
Window, North End of Hall, Elevation, Section, and Details. 
Salle des Procureurs, Staircase S.E. Angle, and Niche in do.. 

Elevations and Sections. 

Hotel de Bourgtheroulde, 

Front Elevation, Section, &c. 
Elevation, Parts at large, and Details. 

L'Abbaye St. Ajiand, 

Building on the N. Side of a Court, Exterior Elevation, and 

Compartments at large. 
Chimney Piece, Elevation, and Parts at Large. 

Cathedral of Notre Dame, 

. . Staircase in North Transept, Plan, Sections, and Details. 

. . Staircase in North Transept, Elevation. 

. . Doorway on the North Side of the Cloisters, Elevation and Section. 

. Gateway to the Cour des Libraires, Elevation, Section, and Details. 

CAEN. — Church of St. Michael, Vaucelles, 
. . . North Porch, Elevation, Section, and Details. 

CAUDEBEC— Church of, 

Sacristy, Elevation, Section, and Details of Compartment. 

Lady Chapel, Plan, with Section and Details of Eoof and Pendant. 












LXVI. . 





LXXI. . 







ROUEN. — Archbishops Palace, 

. . . Two Turret Staircases, Elevations, Sections, and Plans. 

Church of St. Maclou, 

. . . Stone Staircase to Organ Loft, Elevation, Section, and Plans. 

Palais de Justice and St. Andre Church, 

. . . Two Wooden Doors from. 

CAEN. — Notre Dame, St. Peter's, and St, Stephen's 

. . . Three Wooden Doors from. 

DIEPPE. — Church of St. Jacques, 

. . . Stone Screen in North Transept, Elevation and Section. 

CAEN, near. — Chateau Fontaine-le-Henri, 

. . . West Front, Perspective View. 

. . . Window, West Front, on Ground Floor of Tower. 

. . . Window, West Front, Upper Part of Tower. 

BAYEUX AND ROUEN. — String-courses, from Notre Dame, Bayeux, 
and from St. Ouen, Palais de Justice, and St. Nicholas, 

BAYEUX \WD CAEN. — Parapets, from the Cathedral, Bayeux, and 
St. John's Church, Caen 

CAEN AND ROUEN. — Decorative Details, from St. Ouen, Rouen, 
and Chateau Fontaine-le-Henri, 

ROUEN. — Examples showing the Leading of Stained Glass, from 
the Cathedral and St. Ouen, 

Examples showing the Leading of Stained Glass, from the 

Cathedral and St. Ouen, 













The following- is a List of the more important Books bearing directly on the subject. Those pub- 
lished prior to the issue of the first edition of this Work in 1827 were all consulted by Britton, 
and frequent reference is made to them; the others of subsequent dates have all been consulted 
for the present edition, and contain information which may be useful to those who desire to 
pursue the subject further. The titles of the Books are arranged chronologically in order of 
their publication, and those marked with an asterisk (*) are the moi'e important from an 
architectural point of view: — 

POMMEEAYE (Fran9ois). — Histoire de I'Abbaye de St. Ouen de Eouen, . . . fol. Rouen, 1662 
Do. Histoire de I'Eglise Cathedral de Eouen (Plates), . . 4to, Eouen, 1686 

DuCAREL (Andrew C.) — Anglo-Norman Antiquities (27 Copperplates), . . . fol. London, 1767 

GxiNN (\yilliam). — An Inquiry into the Origin and Influence of Gothic Architecture, Svo, London, 1819 

Turner (Dawson). — Account of a Tour in Normandy, chiefly for the purpose of 
investigating its Architectural Antiquities; illustrated with numerous En- 
gravings, ............. Svo, London, 1820 

De la Eue (M. I'Abb^). — Essai Historique sur la Ville de Caen et ses AiTon- 

dissements, ............. Svo, Caen, 1820 

Langlois (Eustache H.) — Descrijjtion Historique des Maisons de Eouen (iO Plates), 

2 vols. Svo, Eouen, 1821 

Stothard (Mrs.) — Letters written during a Tour through. Normandy and Brittany, Svo, Loudon, 1821 

DiBDiN (Eev. T. F.) — Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour in France, 

with a vol. of illustrative Etchings by G. Lewis, Svo, Loudon, 1821 

JOLIMONT (F. T. de). — Monumens les plus remarquables de la Ville" de liouen 

(30 Lithographs), fol. Paris, 1822 

*COTM.\N (J. S.) — Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, rejjresented in a series of 

100 Etchings, with descriiJtive Notices by Dawson Turner, .... fol. Loudon, 1822 

NODIER (Charles) and Taylor, L J. S. — Voyages Pittoresques et Eomantiques de 

I'Ancienne France (Normandie); many fine Lithographs, .... fol. Paris, 1820-25 

JOLQIONT (F. T. de). — Description historique et critique et Vues des Monuments 

religieux et civils les jjIus remarquables du Calvados (IS Lithographs), . 4to, Paris, 1825 


Langloi's (Eustaclie H.)— Notice sur I'lncendie de la Cathedrale de Eouen en 1822, 8vo, Eouen, 1833 

*Knight (Gaily).— An Architectural Tour in Normandy, 8vo, London, 1836 

Langlois (Eustache H.)— Stalles de la Cathedrale de Eouen (13 Copperplates), . Eouen, 1838 

COCHET (Jean B. Desirt^). — Les Eglises de I'Arrondissement du Havre (12 Litho- 
graphs), ............ 2 vols. 8vo, Havre, 1846 

CoCHET (Jean B. Desire). — Les Eglises de I'Arrondissement de Dieppe (10 Plates), 2 vols. 8vo, Dieppe, 1846 

Do. Les Eglises de I'Arrondissement d'Yvetot (Woodcuts), 2 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1852 

HiPPEAU (Ch.)— St. Etienne de Caen (I'Abbaye aux Hommes), .... 8vo, Caen, 1855 

Caumont (Arcisse de). — Statistique routiere de la Basse Normandie, . . . 8vo, Paris, 1855 

Trebutien (G. S.) — Caen: Precis de son Histoire et ses Monuments, . . . 8vo, Caen, 1855 

MusGRAVE (George Musgrave). — A Eamble through Normandy, 8vo, Lond. 1855 

Dion (A. de Laurent), Lasvignes (L.) et Flachat (E.) — Cathedrale de Bayeux et 

la Eeprise en sous-osuvre de la tour centrale (25 Copperplates), . . . 4to, Paris, 1861 

EiCKMAN (T.) — Tour in Normandy, 25th vol. ^rc/ta!0%ja. 8vo, London, 1770-1862 

EuPRiCH -Egbert (V.) — L'Eglise St. Trinit6 (I'Abbaye aux Dames) et I'Eglise St. 

Etienne (I'Abbaye aux Hommes) a Caen (Engravings on Wood), . . . 8vo, Caen, 1864 

Mery (E.) et CocHET (J. B. D.) — Plan et Description de la Ville de Dieppe an XIV" sifecle, 4to, Dieppe, 1865 
JoLlMONT (P. T. de). — Les Principaux Edifices de la Ville de Eouen en 1525, 
dessines .'i cette epoque . . . reproduits en facsimile, et publies avec Notes 

par F. de J., 8vo, Paris, 1846-67 

*Caumont (Arcisse de). — Statistiques Monumentales de Calvados, .... 8vo, Paris, 1846-67 
BouET (G.) — Analyse Architecturale de I'Abbaye de St. Etienne de Caen (Plates), . 8vo, Caen, 1868 

Bulletin Monumentale, Normandy. Edited by Arcisse de Caumont, . . 8vo, Caen, 1834-1873 


Gentleman's Magazine, 1809-10. — Controversy on the Origin of Gothic Archi- 
tecture between Dr. Whittington, Architect Amateur, and Dr. Milner, 8vo, Lond. 1809-1810 
Quarterly Eeview, 1821. — Eeview of Books relating to Normandy, . . . 8vo, London, 1821 
Caumont (Arcisse de). — Histoire Sommaire de I'Architecture du Moyen Age, . 8vo, Caen, 1834 
Do. Cours d'Antiquites Monumentales, with atlas folio, 8vo, Paris and Caen, 1830-41 
Ch.APUY (N. F.) — Le Moyen Age Monumentale et Archseologique (240 Plates in lithog.), fol. 1843-46 
E.AMEE (Daniel). — Histoire Gen^rale de I'Architecture (Woodcuts), . . . 8vo, Paris, 1860 
Parker (J. H.) — Abbey Churches of Caen. Gentlemen's Magazine, June, 1863, . 8vo, London, 1863 
Do. Do. Transactions of the Eoyal Institute of 

British Architects (Plates), 1862-63-64, 4to, Lond. 1862-64 

Murray's Handbook for Travellers in France, 8vo, London, 1864 

*Fergusson (J.), D.C.L., F.R.S. — History of Arcliitecture in all Countries from the 

Earliest Times to the Present Day (many Wood Engravings), . . . 8vo, London, 1865 

Cassell's Topographical Guides (Normandy), 8vo, London, 1865 

Joanne (Adolphe L.) — Collection dos Guides Joannes, 12mo, Paris, 1866 

*Viollet le Due (E.M.) — Dictionnaire Eaisonn6 de I'Architecture Fran^aise du XI" 

an XVI' sifecle (many Wood Engravings), . ... 10 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1858-68 






FOR the purpose of obtaining a complete history and ample illus- 
trations of the Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, it would be 
necessary to select various examples from all the diflerent parts of the 
province. Almost every distinct department, as well as every building, 
presents some variations, either in the general design or subordinate 
architectural details; and although each of these may not be sufficient 
to mark a complete style or class, it constitutes an element which ought 
to be known and characterized, to complete the history of the style. 
In the present work we are only enabled to offer some evidences towards 
this history; we can merely bring forward a few examples, faithfully and 
geometrically delineated, as authentic documents to aid the critical his- 
torian, or as materials for the professional architect; each of whom wiU 
know how to apply them. 

The accompanpng illustrations are chiefly of Church Architecture, and 
mostly belong to an early class of buildings. There are a few of a late or 
decorated style, called the Burgundian in the Quarterly Review;^ whilst 
some represent the domestic buildings dissimilar to an}i:hing in England, 
and which are certainly of singular characteristic features. The truly 

P Keview of books relating to Normandy. Quarterly Bevieiv, Ajsril to July, 1821.] 



Norman specimens will be examined with much interest by the English 
antiquary, who seeks to deduce from them evidences either to confirm his 
own theories respecting the disputed distinctions between Saxon and 
Norman architecture, or to confute the theories of others. 

Of the lancet, or first pointed style, our illustrations are not so nume- 
rous as could be wished; for the critical antiquary wants a mass of mate- 
rials to exemplify and unfold the history of this essential novelty and beauty 
of architecture.^ The origin and the progressive growth of the pointed 
style during nearly four centuries — its fanciful varieties and endless com- 
binations — the latitude it gave to genius, and the numerous beauties of 
art and science which it has bequeathed to us, are so many claims on our 
curiosity and admiration. Whether it germinated in the East, in Italy, 
France, Normandy, Germany, or Britain, is a point not likely to be easily 
settled; nor is it worthy of jealous or envious contention, [It would take 
too long to trace the origin of the pointed arch, for the best account of 
which we refer the reader to a paper" by Mr, James Fergusson; a portion 
of which may be quoted here, as it sets at rest the question of the intro- 
duction of the pointed arch into Europe, Mr. Fergusson remarks, "With 
regard to the true Gothic, the view I take of the question is this: as 
every one knows, who is at all familiar with the Norman or round Gothic 
styles, the architects tried numberless expedients to get over the difii- 
culties of using intersecting vaults with round arches; they stilted the 
smaller arches, depressed the larger ones; they tried quadripartite, sexa- 
partite, and domical vaulting, and fifty other expedients, but without 

1 Mods. Caumont contends that tlie circular style was generally abandoned towards the end of tlie 
first half of the twelfth century, about 1140, and the pointed adopted. "Eveiything of the romance 
style disappeared, and the Gothic fashion was exclusively adopted." Our learned antiquary, however, 
qualifies this opinion, in a note, by saying, "The pointed style had existed at Coutances, Mortain, Seez, 
and Fecamp, ever since the eleventh century; but there are exceptions to the general rule; and Fecamp, 
for instance, is extremely heavy." I must venture to differ with Mons. Caumont respecting the Gothic 
fashion being exclusively adopted at the middle of the twelfth century; for we continually find the first 
pointed blended with the circular style in arches, mouldings, ornaments, &c., in England, and I am 
persuaded the same prevails in Normandy. See the upper parts of the towers at Bayeux Cathedral, the 
east end of Canterbury Cathedral, &c. 

[- Eead before the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1849, and published in the Builder 
of June 2.3d and .30th of that year.] 


ever attaining perfect or even satisfactory success. The curves of the ribs 
of the vaults were generally unpleasing, frequently waving and apparently 
crippled; and indeed the problem seemed almost insoluble. Still they 
seemed determined to persevere in the same path, rather than use the 
broken or pointed arch, in lieu of the graceful sweep of their unbroken 

"When things were in this state the Crusades took place; half Europe 
visited the East, and a Latin kingdom was established over the pointed- 
arch people of the Levant; and when they had thus become familiar with 
it, there can be little doubt but that they would perceive that so far from 
being necessarily ugly, the pointed arch could be worked into forms 
of as great beauty and elegance as the circular one ; and had besides a 
lightness, and, for some purposes, an appropriateness the other did not 
possess. Once convinced of the fact, the problem was solved; the pilgrim 
architects returned fi-om the Holy Land, and immediately applied this 
discovery to their western churches; once the prejudice was overcome 
they adopted it everywhere and in everything, and I need not add with 
what success. 

" In adopting such a view of the question as this, there are two things 
to be guarded against : the first confounding the invention of the Gothic 
style Avith that of the pointed arch — a mistake too often fallen into; the 
former is a purely indigenous and native elaboration from Roman art, 
without any trace of copying or even imitation. The latter is a mere 
subordinate characteristic of that style, and not at all entitled to the 
rank it has hitherto assumed in the controversy. 

" The other mistake is to assume that it was copied from the East for 
copying sake; the truth being, if we admit the above view, that the hint 
was given by the East, but nothing more; it was ai^plied in Gothic build- 
ings in a manner in which it had never been used in the East, and was 
so incorporated with and worked into the native style, that it soon lost 
all trace of its origin, and became as native as any other part of the true 

"Though, therefore, I do not think it can be denied but that the 
origin of the pointed arch is from the East, it must, I think, at the 


same time be admitted that all its appropriateness and all its beauty, 
as found in our mediaeval cathedrals, is wholly due to the talent and 
ingenuity of our northern architects, who wrought it into those forms of 
beauty and grace which we all now so fully appreciate and so universally 

It certainly behoves the historian of art to ascertain where and when 
the pointed style was systematized, and by whom and in what building 
it was employed throughout all the parts and members of the edifice. 
The adoption of an arch with a pointed apex, as at Malmesbury, in St. 
John's Church, Devizes, in Buildwas Abbey,^ &c., does not prove that the 
architects were familiar with, or had introduced it as a member of an 
established style, but merely as a new feature in the formation of an 
opening in the wall, and adapted to the particular proportion of the 
edifice."^ The lateral columns, the walls, the mouldings, continued nearly 
as before; and even the triforium openings, and windows of the aisles, as 
at Malmesbury and at Buildwas, were finished with semicircular heads. 
In the apsidal end of Canterbury Cathedral we recognize the pointed 
S3^stem or style, introduced not merely in the open arches between the 
centre and aisles, but in the slender shaft, with its capital and base, in 
the window, the butti^ess, the gi'oining of the roof, &c. The circular arch 
was not then wholl}^ abolished, nor were its analogous mouldings and 
details. The date of this part of the building is fortunately well authen- 
ticated (1176); and we have also very satisfactory evidence of successive 
and progressive improvements in the same style through the reigns of 
kings Richard I., John, and Henry III., in the cathedrals of York, Wells, 
Rochester, Salisbury, &c, 

" It is in Normandy that the first pages of the architectural annals 
of this island (England) must be read. According to our most judicious 
antiquaries, no one structure, scarcely any one fragment, in Great Britain, 

^ See The Architeciural Antiquities of Great Britain, where these buildings are represented and 

2 In the east end of Canterbury Cathedral it was judiciously made to suit the proportion of the 
intereolumns; at St. John's Church, Devizes, from the difference in the width of the tower at its two 
sides, one being much wider than the other, and yet the heights of the arches range together. 


is HOW in existence that can be referred with certainty to the Saxon era.^ 
Neither can we quote any architectural examples in Normandy of an 
earlier period than the eleventh century; at least if we wish to guide our- 
selves in our researches with any degree of satisfactory evidence or con- 
jecture. The duchy of Normandy does not possess the monuments of 
Neustria.^ The fury of the Northmen destroyed all the memorials both 
of Roman magnificence and of Christian piety, by which the province had 
been adorned, when they wrested it from the Carlovingian empire. Nought 
remained but scathed and mouldering walls, and these were afterwards 
lost in the edifices raised by the piety of the converted subjects of Rollo. 
A few insignificant remains — a tomb at Lisieux, a crypt at Rouen, a chapel 
at Juviieges, which probably ought to be dated before the Norwegian 
conquest, are of little moment in a general view of the subject, and do 
not connect themselves in the general series of specimens. It is useless 
to descant on relics of more dubious antiquity, which receive their date 
from untenable opinions; for the Norman archaeologists, like our own, 
have often wrongly imagined that old age and ugliness must necessarily 
be spionymous. Thus, the abbey church of aS'^. Lo, on account of its 
clumsy sculpture, has been considered as a temple of Isis, a deity who 
in France appears to claim all antiquarian estrays; and the church 
of Beniieres is sometimes attributed by the Norman antiquaries to the 
old inhabitants of the ' Saxon shore,' though the marguilliers of the 
parish, with most reason, are satisfied that it owes its origin to Duke 

" The principal features of the Norman style are sufiiciently familiar. 
Originating with the attempts which were successfully made to adapt the 
architecture of Rome to the uses of a Christian community, the order 
of which the Norman is merely a modification, acknowledges, in all its 

P Fergusson {Hist. Arch., p. 844) qualifies this statement where he says: "There is no one instance 
of a complete Saxon church built before the Conquest; in some there is a tower, in others a fragment 
of walling, in others only a door or a window.'] 

2 Before the Norwegians, under Rollo, took possession of the north-western territory of France, at 
the commencement of the tenth century, it was called Neustria. 

[' It is doubtful whether any visible portion of the present church be older than the middle of the 
twelfth century; the tower, spire, and western porch date from the thirteenth century.] 



varieties, the parent stock from which it sprang. Mr. Gunn proposes to 
distinguish this style by the name of the Romanesque} 

" The Norman style being marked by some minor peculiarities which 
seem to distinguish it from the coeval modes of architecture used on the 
Continent, it might be the subject of conjecture whether the Norman 
buildings vary from their prototyjjes in consequence of any vestiges or 
reminiscences of the rude art of the first Norwegian settlers. Sacred 
structures were built in Scandinavia by the heathens. The flinty remains 
of the sacellum adjoining the cathedral church of Upsala, which is thought 
to have been dedicated to the sanguinary worship of the 'King of men,' 
are perforated by round Roman arches. Peringskiolld has given a repre- 
sentation of this edifice; but if anybody chooses to dispute its original 
destiuation, we shall not be inclined to fight very strenuously for the 
authenticity of Odin's Temple. We are not in the number of those who 
swear implicitly by the books of northern archaeologists, who are usually 
fattened by erudition, at the expense of common sense and judgment."^ 

Religion has been invariably considered the most influential power of 
a nation: it is, therefore, to the edifices appropriated to the observance of 
its ordinances that we must look for specimens of the skill and taste of a 
people. The earliest churches, both in Normandy and in Britain, were 
extremely simple in their plan, scarcely difl"ering from the basilicse, or 
courts of justice, belonging to all the great cities of the Roman emi^ire, 
many of which were, on the introduction of the religion of the Cross, con- 
verted into Christian churches, by order of the emperor Constantine. 
These basilicse had their porticoes within the building — in that respect 
differing from the temples, which had them without, and consequently 
exposed to the weather, — and the end porticoes, in their width, were con- 
fined to the dimensions of the centre or oblong square of the building. 
The princiijal entrance was at one end, and the other was generally ter- 
minated in a semicircular form. In this plan are observable all the 
features of the early or primeval Christian churches. In the body of the 
basilica we distinctly trace the nave and aisles, in the chief entrance we 
recognize our west end, and in the termination our semicircular apse. 

[• A term since generally adopted.] 2 Quarterly Ileriew, June, 1821. 


In those places where the Romans had established themselves/ and 
erected houses or temples, we find that their peculiar brick was made 
use of, and specimens of these may now be seen in the crypt of the church 
of St. Gervais at Rouen, which some consider to be altogether of Roman 
workmanship. The masonic construction was also imitated. The masonry 
of the walls at Vindomi (Silchester), Verulamium (St. Alban's), and Cam- 
aldodunum (Colchester) — stations established by the Romans — appears to 
have been disposed in a zigzag or herring-bone direction: and similar 
walls occur in the Norman churches of Anisy, Perriers, St. Matthieu, St. 
Croix at St. Lo, and St. Hildebert at Gournai. Others of the like kind 
are to be found in England, in the castles of Colchester, Corfe, Tamworth, 
&c. M. de Caumont, a French antiquary, speaking of the works of the 
Romans, says, that when they employed flat or rough stones they arranged 
them diagonally, and sloped in each alternate tier to the right and left;" 
but when they made use of cut stones they laid them horizontally; and 
we may remark, that the latter were small, and nearly of the same size. 
We also observe that the stones are sometimes disposed so as to resemble 
a chess-board; as at Ver, Mouen, the Abbaye aux Dames, Caen; tower 
of Steyning Church, Sussex, &c. 

The extreme solidity of the materials, and the almost total absence of 
ornament, induce us to believe that the only aim of the architects was to 
erect edifices that should last for many ages; as at the church of Le'ry, 
near Pont de I'Arche, the interior of which is remarkable for those qua- 
lities.^ They also appear to have been fearful of weakening the lateral 

^ It was far from being uncommon to find the edifices of that people mutilated and destroyed to 
furnish materials for new buildings; — metals were melted down, marbles were torn away, capitals and 
bases separated from their shafts and entablatures, &c. And this is not a subject of wonder, when 
we find that the senate of Rome had set the example, by plundering the ancient buildings for the 
decoration of the Triumphal Arch of Constantine. [- Herring-bone masonry.] 

3 A double row of pillars and arches separate the body of the church into three parts of unequal 
width, and another arch of greater span divides it from the chancel. The arches are in every instance 
devoid of mouldings, the capitals altogether without ornamental sculptuie of any description, and the 
pillars without bases — [a peculiarity confined to the ancient Grecian Doric, in classic architecture.] 
Indeed, the pillars are nothing more than rounded piers ; and they are not less remarkable for their 
proportions than for their simplicity, their diameter being equal to full two-thirds of their height. 
These are in windows in the nave ; but a series of statues adorn each side, resting on brackets between 
the arches. — Cotman, Arch. Antiq. of Normandy, vol i. pi. xlvi. 


walls by piercing them for windows of any considerable dimensions, as 
we find the latter are but few, and those only narrow openings, of an 
oblong form. Their apses were also plain, as we may judge from the 
semicircular terminations of the church of Querqueville, near Cherbourg; 
and the apertures which were caused by the scaffolding were left, as 
ajjpears throughout the whole of the body of Anisy Church, where, it is 
very remarkable, they are edged with freestone. The inconveniences con- 
sequent uj)on the narrow single-light openings must have compelled suc- 
ceeding architects to provide for more light. Accordingly we notice, that 
the windows, from being narrow externally, expanded in width through 
the whole thickness of the wall, and formed a comparatively wide embra- 
sure within. Normandy presents many specimens of the long and narrow 
semicircnlar-headed windows — resembling in size the ' lancet ones of the 
pointed style — in the short, square tower of St. Michael's Church, 
Vaucelles; and the examples are numerous of long cylindrical columns 
at small intervals, with small semicircular arches, and low massive 
cylinders supporting wider arches. 

About the latter part of the ninth, or the commencement of the 
tenth century,^ it is highly probable that the use of bells gave occasion 
to the first and most considerable alteration that was made in the 
general plan of our churches, by the necessity it induced of having 
strong and high-raised towers for their reception. These from being- 
necessary soon became ornamental, and a lofty and light form was given 
to them, which was calculated to inspire those sentiments of awe \\ hich 
usuall}^ accompany admiration and surprise. About the same period 

' I am aware that M. Caumont, in his Essays on the BeUgious Architecture of Normandy, adduces 
a passage from Anastas. Biblioth. in Vita Steph. III., proving the erection of a tower in the eighth 
century b}- that pope to the Church of St. Peter, to contain bells; but it was not till the period 
assigned above that the use of towers became indispensable, from the size of the bells. Mr. Whitaker, 
in his Ancient Cathedral of Cornwall, vol. ii. 1.52, and !Mr. Faulkner, in his History of Kensington, have 
entered into ample dissertations on the origin and historj' of towers, bells, &c. [M. Viollet le Due, 
in his Didionnairc Raisonni, points out that no bells of any great size were cast before the twelfth 
century, and that previous to that epoch small belfries on the gable ends would have amply sufficed 
to hold the then comparatively small bells. He is inclined, therefore, to look upon these strong and 
lofty towers as emblems of the feudal power of the cathedral and abbeys, or of the richness and 
importance of the towns, and notices that it is principally in those countries where the secular 


the churclies began to be built in the form of a cross, a plan materially 
tending to heighten the general eflect of the whole edifice, and which 
continued throughout the era in which the pointed style prevailed. 

[^Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries.'] — In the eleventh century a new and 
most interesting era in the history of architecture commenced, for in it 
and the following century the Norman style may be said to have attained 
nearly to the summit of its grandeur: it will therefore deserve our 
serious and minute investigation. During this period the plan of the 
churches diflered but little from those of the preceding century, being 
that of a cross, with the transepts extending north and south, and the 
east end marked by the semicircular -ending, or apse. The principal 
entrance was at the west end of the nave, and a tower was usually 
raised on each side of it, to coincide with and terminate the aisles. 
Another tower was frequently placed at the intersection of the cross, 
where it added to the solidity by pressing on the centre, against which 
the walls and arches abutted. The form of the towers was square, 
and they were pierced by semicircular arches more or less narrow, 
and variously distributed, sometimes duplicated, at others intersected; 
and again with two smaller arches within a larger one. About the 
latter part of the eleventh century, during the reign of William I. of 
England, the towers became larger in their square, more lofty, and had 
a proportionate degree of enrichment, being completely adorned on each 
side with two or three ranges, one above another, of small arcades,^ of 
shallow depth, and sometimes interlacing each other to the number 
of twenty; thus producing an agreeable eflect of richness and relief 
Sometimes round towers are found, as at Tankerville; these were joined 

feudalism had raised its most important castles that the cathedrals and abbeys, and later on the 
villages, erected their numerous and magnificent towers. M. Viollet le Due suggests also that these 
towers were erected as a means of defence, and hence their position over the western doors ; and that 
the raising of the bells into them was a matter of secondary importance only. (See article "Cloches," 
vol. iii. p. 286.)] 

' Similar decorations are observable on the exterior of the body of the church. Thaon Church has 
a series of twenty-nine arches, every sixth of which, from the westward, is narrower than the rest 
and pierced with a window. The surface of the blank ones is cut into squares, which are alternatelv 
depressed. E.xamples occur at the abbey churches of Tewkesbury and St. Albans, &c. 



to the edifice, and the most ancient are comparatively low, whilst the 
pyramidal roofs that surmount them are stunted as at Ver. 

The buttresses present the same appearance at the church of Fontaine 
le Henri; and they are occasionally decorated with angle-shafts, though 
this generally indicates that the work is late.^ Cylindrical buttresses 
are occasionally observed. At the church of Cheux, on the north side 
of the east end, is one; and on the southern side of the round tower^ 
of Tankerville, one runs nearly to the top of the first story. 

The western entrances Avere, in the commencement of the eleventh 
century, very plain, with the exception of the principal doorways, the 
archivolts of which were enriched with numerous ornaments, of greater 
or less elaboration, according to the splendour of the building and the 
imagination of the architect. The church of St. Georges de Bocherville,^ 
"the most genuine and the most magnificent specimen of the circular 
style in Upper Normandy," has a doorway with as many as five orders 
of mouldings, all highly worked, and presenting almost every pattern 
commonly found in such parts of Norman buildings. According to Mr. 
D. Turner, Normandy does not contain a richer arch than this; but in 
England numbers are to be found, even in obscure parish churches, 
which are equal to it, if not superior in richness.^ At Bieville and 
Perriers there are square-headed doorways, the lintels of which are cut 
into the shape of pediments, with semicircular relieving arches. That 
at Bieville is surrounded by only a single, flat, and j)lain moulding; 
whilst the one at Perriers displays some pleasing decorations. We 
frequently find that where a square-headed doorway occurs under an 

[^ The broad shallow buttress is one of the chief characteristics of Norman work. It was doubtless 
derived from the pilasters of classic architecture, and, like them, seems to have been used more for the 
purposes of decoration than for any actual support, to the walls. This is especially the case in all the 
Lombard churches and in those on the Rhine. The Norman buttress is generally not divided into 
stages, but continues of the same breadth and depth from bottom to top, and either dies into the wall 
with a slope just beneath the corbel-table (Plate V.) or assists to carry it {Plats XIX.)] 

^ The round towers are more properly the productions of a century later. There is one at 
St. Ouen, Eouen, built by Abbot William Balot in 1126. 

P Illustrated very fully in Nodier's Voyages Piitoresqiie de France {Normandk) and in Cotman's 
Architectural Antiquities of Normandy 1] 

* At Iffley, Tutbury, Ely, Malmesbury, &c. 


arch, the tympanum or intermediate space between the arch and the 
stone lintel is filled with bas-reliefs, rudely carved, as at Marigny and 
Colville, in the district of Bayenx; Urville, in the department of La 
Manche; and Bully and Cambe, in the district of Caen. Sometimes, 
but the examples are very rare, we find arched doors w^ithout columns 
— though the early windows are commonly so — and adorned with orna- 
ments the whole height.^ At Frenouville, Busly, Plessis - Grimoult, is a 
kind of doorway, which, according to M. de Caumont, has round the 
arches one or more I'ows of stone, generally cut in the form of a wedge, 
and arranged so as to be jointed one within the other. These are 
commonly decorated by a profusion of delicately sculptured stars [known 
as "Stars of Bethlehem"], frequently with undulating points. Speci- 
mens of similar work may be seen in the churches of the pointed style, 
and in the monuments of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 

The walls, from the western towers to the transept, form a parallel- 
ogram on plan, which is di\dded by ranges of arches into three unequal 
compartments, the nave and two aisles. The columns, or piers, and the 
semicircular arches producing these divisions, are more or less orna- 
mented, according to the antiquity of the edifice and the imj)ortance 
of the building. At the abbey church of Jumieges the arches alternately 
spring from round pillars and from square piers, with semicylindrical 
columns afiixed to each of their sides ; and at Pavilly they are supported 
by clustered columns, with unadorned capitals and enormous hexagonal 
bases. Sometimes we obsei'\'e duplicated columns, that is, two isolated 
columns rising from one base, and crowned by one capital, as in the 
Abbaye aux Hommes at Caen, at Canterbury, &c. The columns of the 
era of which Ave are treating had no fixed proportions, being either 
heavv^ and short, or very tall and light, and some rising to a considerable 
height: they are all of equal thickness from top to bottom, and in 
general have a sort of plinth for a base, sometimes only a few inches 

' The inner archivolt of the western entrance at Foullebec is can'ed into flower-work, whilst the 
outer moulding has the plain embattled fret of considerable size, and some grotesque carving, besides 
two sculptural pieces, representing the lamb and flag, and a man on an ass — probably our Saviour ridins- 
through Jerusalem. 


high, and at others one or two feet: but this was varied in different 
ages. The base is sometimes composed of a plinth and a torus: and 
in one or two instances may be seen a near approximation to the Attic 

The capitals of the columns appear to be extremely rude imitations 
of the various orders of classic architecture.^ The most ancient are 
miserably executed Tuscan and Doric, grotesquely carved; but the Cor- 
inthian and Composite are the most commonly imitated : the rarest is 
that of the Ionic. The church of St. Georges de Bocherville has a pleas- 
ing variety of specimens; for we there find the receding abacus and 
richly sculptured foliage of the Corinthian, as well as a mixture of 
grotesque. In the church of the Holy Trinity, at Caen, the capitals are 
ornamented with rams' heads, the horns of which form the volutes, 
curling out from beneath the abacus. From the rich display of diversi- 
fied cajDitals to be found at St. Georges de Bocherville, St. Hildebert at 
Gournay, &c., we are enabled to form some idea of the extent to which 
the caprice and imagination of the architects led them. Some of these 
represent gryphons, lacs d'amour, grotesque heads, or monsters with 
their heads turned behind them, and biting their tails, some of which 
are cloven towards the end. Besides the chimeras, serpents, dragons, 
and all the inexplicable creations of the imaginative fancy, we discern 
some allegorical figures and subjects from religious history, the most 
esteemed of all adorned capitals. The arches springing from these 
columns have sometimes very enriched archivolts. As the mouldings 
which serve to decorate them are similar to those employed in the arches 
of the western and other entrances, and in the enriched windows, we 
have thrown into a note a list of many of them, with references to the 
churches where they are to be met with.-' 

^ The capitals of tlie colunins remaining at St. Sanson, we are informed by Mr. Joseph Woods, 
resemble those of the temple of Bacchus at Teos. [There are none published of this temple which 
resemble those of St. Sanson, but similar examples are found in the temples of Minen-a Polias at Priene, 
and Apollo Didymseus near Miletus; with this difference, however, that the Greek examples are capitals 
of square piers; those of St. Sanson, of circular columns. In Pompeii also are many similar capitals.] 

^ The most common ornament is that of the chevron, or zigzag, which seems to have been the earliest 
used, and latest abandoned (see Plate I.) When there are many rows of them they are called, according 


Above the arches, between the nave and aisles, usually runs a string- 
course, separating the lower arches from those of the next story, called 
the triforium, the arches of which are sometimes of nearly the same width 
as those below, though less in height, as at the abbey church of Jumieges, 
where they are devoid of either archivolts or mouldings. They seldom 
or ever were pierced with windows, but generally formed a kind of com- 
munication with the tower and roof of the edifice. They are subject to 
all the varieties which distinguish the Norman arches, as well in distri- 
bution as in plan and decoration. Above the triforium was a range of 
windows called the clerestory, which are in general devoid of pillars, are 
unadorned, and narrower externally than they are within. 

The choir and sacrarium usually terminate with a semicircular apse; 
but instances occur, as at Fontaine le Henri, and at Thaon, of square 
east ends. The churches of the Holy Trinity and of St. Nicholas at 
Caen {Plate XIX.), and at Cheux, may be considered as good specimens 
of the general features of the exterior of these apses, being divided by 
slender cylindrical pillars into several compartments, and by string- 
courses into three stories, the basement one occupied by a range of small 
arcades, the heads of which are hewn out of a single stone, and the others 

to the numbers, double, triple, quadruple, zigzags, &c. A specimen of the chevron, disposed in a triple 
row, occurs at the church of St. Giles, at Evreux, now used as a stable. Their angles are more or less 
acute; and sometimes we see two rows of zigzags with the angles opposite one another {Plate XXIII.) 
This is called by M. de Caumont the zigzag counter zigzag. A specimen may be seen in Bayeux Cathe- 
dral {Plate XXVIII.) The embattled fret is formed by a single round moulding, traversing the face of the 
arch, making its returns, and crossing at right angles, so forming the intermediate spaces into squares, 
alternately open above and below (see Plates VI. and XVII.) In England we frequently observe a triangular 
fret, where the same kind of moulding at every return forms the side of an equilateral triangle, and 
incloses the intermediate space in that figure. Billets resemble a cylindrical piece of wood, sawed into 
many pieces of equal length (see Plates XII. and XVII.) The nail-head resembles the heads of great 
nails, driven in at regular distances. This is so rare an ornament for the string-course in Normandy, 
that Mr Cotman recollects no other instance of it than in the church of L6ry, near Pont de I'Arche. 
The hatched moulding appears to have its origin from the circumstance of the workmen making indents 
in the mortar with their trowels, and is accordingly a very general ornament of the string-course. 
Nehules, or undulating lines. Of the dog-tooth a specimen exists at the church of St. Georges de Bocher- 
ville. Calle, or twisted mouldings {Plate XVII.) A line of quatrefoils may be seen at the church of St. 
Giles, at Evreux. This ornament, so exceedingly common in the pointed style, is said to be met with 
on this one Norman building only. Birds' heads and beaks were sometimes placed round the arches; 
and a great variety of foliage, besides many indescribable combinations, likewise appear. 


14 architectuhal antiquities of normandy. 

pierced by windows, variously diversified; the whole terminated by roofs 
of very high }Htch: the corbel tables^ are grotesquely sculptured. The 
choir of Cheux is remarkable for being wider than the nave. The portion 
east of the tower is of three distinct parts, unequal in size, the central 
being the narrowest, but all of the same height, and each lateral one 
exactly equalling in its width the length of the transept to which it is 
attached, and thus, also, the choir and transepts collectivel}^ form nearl}^ 
a square, except that to the end of the middle compartment is attached 
a semicircular apse. 

From the north and south sides, between the nave and choir, and 
producing a cruciform arrangement of plan, project the transepts, at the 
northern and southern extremities of which chapels are placed across. 
The general features of these transverse chapels (which were vaulted at 
the level of the aisle vault, and usuall}' dedicated to some saint) accorded 
^v'ith the style of the nave, when of the same era; but at the abbey 
churches of Fecamp, St. Stejjhen at Caen {Plate II.), and Cerisy, in the 
cathedral of Se'ez, and at St. Georges de Bocherville, the transept chapels 
are separated by screens, by means of which Mr. Cotman considers that 
the architects intended that the aisle of the nave should receive ap- 
parent length from the columns which form the screen ranging in a line 
with the outer walls of the aisles. To the eastern end of these transverse 
chapels it was customary to affix small semicircular chapels, as at St. 
Nicholas at Caen, St. Taurin at Evreux, &c., in Normandy, and at Caii- 
terbuiy, Norwich, and elsewhere, in England. 

\_Tliirteenth Century.'] — The circular style, Avhich may be said to have 
reached its maturity in Normandy about the middle of the twelfth cen- 
tury, was destined during the thirteenth to give way to a new phase 
more adapted to the immense development of religious rites. But this 

' This feature was derived originally from the jutting out or projection of the joists of the roof 
underneath the cornice or eaves. They were carved and ornamented with a great variety of patterns, 
as heads of monsters, gryphons, birds, <S:c. The most ancient are highly projecting, and are surmounted 
by a heavy flat cornice, and others of subsequent date support small arcades (see Plate XX.) The cornice 
over the corbels is often adorned with zigzags, billets, &c. At first, like the corbels, they projected 
considerably, but gradually diminishing, they were superseded by the light parapets of the pointed 


was not effected without a struggle, and w^as done neither simultaneously 
nor uniformly; for we frequently find that in the buildings of the end 
of the twelfth ceatury the two styles are variously intermixed. When 
the pointed arch began to be introduced, the ornaments w^hich had been 
used to decorate the archivolts of the semicircular arches were retained 
and applied to the new ones; as at the abbey church of Jumieges, where 
are frets, cables, clustered columns, ornamented capitals, pointed arches, 
&c.^ Another illustration of the intermixture of styles appears at the 
west end of St. Peter's Church at Lisieux, where are windows composed 
of two small pointed arches resting on a cylindrical column in the centre, 
and inclosed by a larger arch resting on clustered columns with Norman 
sculptured capitals. 

At the beginning of the thirteenth century the circular arch and 
cylindrical column seem wholly to have been disused, and the jDointed 
arch and slender shafts substituted in their places. These shafts 
were clustered, and consisted of a larger one in the centre, with others 
either wholly detached or separated in the shafts, and joined in the 
capitals and bases. They were variously adorned with sculpture." The 
vaulting, or webs, in the early pointed style were generally made of 
chalk, or soft stone, for lightness; but the arches and principal ribs were 
formed of more durable materials. The greatest distinguishing marks 
of all eras are the windows. In those of the thirteenth century we 
observe them long, narrow, sharp-pointed, and decorated on the inside 
and outside with small shafts. The order and disposition of the windows 
varied in some measure according to their position. Thus in the clere- 
story, or uppermost story of a building, we should find a trij)let, or three 
windows grouped together, the centre one being higher than those on 
each side. The story beneath, or triforium, would have two within the 

[' This admixture of styles is well illustrated in the choir of the Abbaye aux Hommes, which, erected 
at the close of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century, displays its transition features in the 
decoration of the pointed arch ribs, mtli the Xorman chevron or zigzag ornament (Plate IX.) The same 
feature is found in the choir of Canterbury.] 

2 Some of the clustered columns are annulated, that is, fixed or tied together in the middle bj- 
rings, as at Bayeux, St. Stephen's at Caen, See, and in AVestmiuster Abbey Church, Salisbury Cathedral, 
the Temple Church, &c., in our own countr}' 


same space; and the lowest only one window, usually divided by a pillar 
or rather mullion, and often ornamented on the top with a trefoil, single 
rose, or some such simple decoration. The walls were less in thickness 
than in the circular style, but were strengthened by buttresses of much 
greater projection, which terminated in pinnacles adorned with crockets, 
and finished with a handsome flower of four petals, called a finial. 

The distinctive charcicter of the architecture of this early era lies in 
its simplicity; but when ornaments were introduced, they were usually 
bold and w^ell-executed — especially the foliated capitals of pillars, and 
the scrolls of foliage with which the spandrils of the arches were some- 
times filled. Towards the latter end of this century the pillars became 
inore solid, the lights of the windows were enlarged, and the slender 
detached shafts in a great measure laid aside. The four-sided pyramid, 
which usually terminated the towers during the continuance of the cir- 
cular style, was superseded by the octagonal spire, the base of which 
was relieved, and its beauty heightened, by the introduction of richly 
decorated pinnacles at each of the angles of the cornice of such towers.^ 

\_Fourteenth Century.'] — The church of St. Ouen, at Rouen, aflbrds a 
most pleasing and perfect specimen of the more decorated style which 
prevailed in the fourteenth century. By examining the Plates of this 
edifice {XXXVIII.-XLIII.) we shall perceive flying-buttresses end in 
richly crocketed pinnacles, supported by shafts of unusual height. 
The triple tiers of windows seem to have superseded the solid wall- 
work of the building. The vaulting is more decorated than before: 
and the ribs are usually ornamented at their intersections with gilded 
orbs, carved heads, figures, and other sculptured work. The columns 
retained something of the general form already described, that is, an 
assemblage of small pillars or shafts; but these decorations were now 
not detached or separated from the body of the column or pier, but 
made part of it; and being closely united and wrought up together, 
formed one entire, firm, slender, and elegant column. The windoivs were 
now greatly enlarged, and divided into several lights by stone mullions, 
running into various ramifications above, [and forming what is now 

\} See notice of the spires of Normandy, page 22 et seq.] 


known as flamboyant traceiyj ; and more particularly the great eastern 
and western windows (which became fashionable about this time) took 
up nearly the whole breadth of the nave, and were carried up almost 
as high as the vaulting; and being set off with stained glass, of vivid 
colours, had a solemn and imposing appearance. [In fact generally, at 
this period the whole of the available space under the vault and between 
the clustered piers was occupied by windows iilled with stained glass; 
showing how the architects of that day sought to diminish the size of 
the main supports of the building and to increase the space allotted to 
stained glass. The object of this is apparent: the climate of northern 
France not always rejoicing in the bright, clear atmosphere of more 
eastern climes, the interiors of these great cathedrals and churches would 
have appeared cold and gloomy were it not for the brilliant colours 
which the rays of light piercing through the stained glass spread 
throughout the church. The multiplication of rays of various colours 
had also the effect of increasing the apparent size of the building, so 
that this church of St. Ouen, for instance, though of comparatively 
moderate dimensions, appears as vast as a cathedral. {Viollet le Due, 
vol. ix.)] Large circular windoivs, sometimes known by the name of 
rose-windows and marigold- windows, prevail in the Norman and French 
churches of the pointed style of the fourteenth century. Few among 
the cathedrals or conventual churches in France are without them; 
but in England the specimens are very few. In the church of St. Ouen 
these windows are more than commonly beautiful. That in the west 
front is fully delineated in Plates XLII. XLIII.; whilst another, in the 
northern transept, is almost as rich. Others in the cathedral church of 
Rouen are still more elaborate in their tracery. 

The arches of doorways, of monuments, &c., were often very richly 
ornamented with foliage and crockets, and the pinnacles were enriched 
in the same manner. This elegant and peculiar ornament, the crocket, 
is prevalent during the whole of the pointed style. In the early part of 
the fourteenth century the arches were also frequently adorned with 
running foliated ornament in the hollow mouldings. {Plate XLl.) 

A parapet of open quatrefoils runs round the aisles and body of the 


church of St. Ouen; and the centre tower, which is almost wholly 
composed of ojDen arches and tracery, terminates, like the south tower 
of the cathedral, with an octangular crown of fleurs-de-lis. This armorial 
symbol of France, which in itself is a form of great beauty, was often 
introduced by the French architects of the middle ages amongst the 
ornaments of their edifices, and that with a very pleasing and satis- 
factory result. 

{Fifteenth Century?^ — The same style and manner of building pre- 
vailed during the early half of the fifteenth century, when it verged 
into a more florid description of architecture, which may be said to have 
led to its decadence. The ribs of the vaulting were divided into an 
infinite number of mouldings, issuing from the vaulting shafts, some- 
times without capitals or imposts, and enriched with a profusion of 
sculpture, and with clusters of pendant ornaments. In this century, and 
in the beginning of the following, the bosses of the vaulted roofs were 
wrought into filagree, the work extending over the intersection of the 
ribs which are seen through its reticulation. The wall surfaces were 
also very frequently covered with abundance of rich tracery, giving them 
the aijpearance of embroidery. The heads of the windows were more 
richly ornamented with tracery; and the jambs were formed into niches 
or tabernacles, with enriched canopies, the sofiits of which were minutely 
adorned with filagree work. The large windows were usually divided by 
two bold mullions into three parts, which were again subdivided into 
smaller compartments. Indeed, the architecture of this century lost all 
its religious grandeur and sublime solemnity; but what it lost in that 
respect, it gained in richness and exuberance of ornament. Every part 
of the edifice, however minute, was loaded with delicate mouldings: and 
while we may admire the fancy displayed in frittering the surface of a 
building into such toyish decoration, we cannot but regret the extinction 
of that pleasing simplicity which alone is in accordance with propriety 
and good taste. [In secular architecture the forms of the arches became 
more and more obtuse, till they were in some cases almost flat, the four- 
centred arch, which abounds in our Tudor style, being rarely found, 
otherwise the characteristics of the two styles in France and England 


are very similar. The introduction of the ogee arch label over windows 
and doors in secular and ecclesiastical work dates also from this period.] 

Of the churches at Coutances, Lisieux, Seez, and others, in which the 
early pointed style prevails in its genuine simplicity, and e\'incing its 
lofty and elegant characteristics, we regret that we are unable to offer 
the antiquarian architect any engraved examples. He will find, however, 
some interesting illustrations of parts of all these edifices in Mr. Cotman's 
valuable work, as well as judicious essays on the ages and styles of each. 
"The church of Seez," says Mr. Turner, "may be compared in its archi- 
tecture with those of Coutances and Lisieux: they are unlike, indeed, 
but by no means different. Severe simplicity characterizes Lisieux: 
Coutances is distinguished by elegance, abounding in decoration; Seez, 
at the same time that it unites the excellencies of both, can rival neither 
in those which are peculiarly its own. In the interior it exhibits a series 
of noble lofty arches: below, the moresque ornament, like those at 
Bayeux and Coutances, in the spandrils ; the double lancet arches of the 
triforium placed in triplets; and the larger pointed arches above, 
arranged two or three together, and increased with arches of the Norman 
form, though not of the Norman style."^ 

In the middle of the fifteenth century, and at the commencement of 
the sixteenth, an admixture of the Italian with that of the florid Gothic 
style produced a somewhat inconsistent and not altogether harmonious 
style of architecture, which Mr. Dawson Turner has designated by the 
appellation of the Burgundiau." This almost distinctive species of 
architecture seems to have been wholly employed in domestic buildings. 
Specimens must therefore be sought for among that class of edifices; 
and we accordingly find some very fine illustrations in the mansion of 
Chateau Fontaine le Henri {Plates LXXI.-LXXIII), in the Palais de 
Justice at Rouen {Plates XLIX.-LIV.), and in the Hotel de Bourgtheroulde 
in the Place de la Pucelle, at Rouen {Plates L V. L VI.) This last is the 

1 Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, vol. ii. p. 12.'). 

2 So called because supposed to have originated in the dominions of Pliilip the Good. No distinct 
example of it can be dated anterior to his reign, and buildings bearing its characteristics are found in 
all the states which were united under liis authority. Its peculiar features are also displayed in Philip's 
palace at Dijon. 


richest specimen, being entirely divided into compartments by slender 
and lengthened buttresses and pillars. The intervening spaces are filled 
with basso-relievos, some of which are rich and fanciful and represent 
the labours of the field and of the vineyard. Here also, though of much 
later date, is a series of bas-reliefs, executed in marble tablets, disj)laying 
the royal interview between Henry VIII. and Francis I. on the Field of 
the Cloth of Gold {Champ du Braj) d'Or). The windows are in general 
square-headed, and divided into four parts by a perpendicular stone 
mullion and a transom, and are decorated with a series of plain mould- 
ings, extending round all the four sides, and giving them the apjDearance 
of being in panel. Where pointed (generally in the upper stories), they 
are particularly rich, being finished with angular pediments supported 
by buttresses, terminating in pinnacles highly crocketed, and surmounted 
by bold finials. The tympana are commonly occupied by armorial 
bearings, and a range of foliage runs in the hollow of the arch mouldings. 
Thus we have endeavoured to trace the progress of architecture in 
Normandy from its infancy to perfection, and from perfection to a species 
of enervated second childhood. With the gradual decline of the massive 
Norman, rose the beautiful pointed style, a description of architecture 
less understood by the French than by the English antiquaries, and of 
which Normandy presents some good specimens, though mostly far 
inferior in the taste and execution of the detail to some that might be 
cited in England.^ We have seen the elegant assemblage of ornaments 
which the pointed style displayed in its height of grandeur; and we 
have had to contemplate, with feelings of regret and mortification, its 
barbaric fall into that inharmonious, disagreeable jumble of styles and 

1 A few portions of some English buildings resemble others in France — Canterbury choir, for 
instance; but no entire building is found in France which can be compared to one of entirely English 
design. In the arrangement of the structure, in the style of the ornaments, in the elevation, in the 
section, in the plan — in short, in some part or feature, a diversity will always be found, which, without 
destroying the genuine Gothic character, designates a specific class. The continental churches nearly 
all terminate in a semicircular or polygonal apse. Westminster, Canterbury, Tewkesbury, Norwich, &c., 
in England, are built on this plan, but English examples of this special feature are by no means 
numerous. The foreign churches have often four side aisles, and as the churches thus became very broad, 
the extremities of the transepts usually range within the walls of the side aisles, instead of projecting 
beyond them. Of such magnificence we have but few examples in England. 


orders, which began to prevail, and seemed to satisfy the public taste, in 
the sixteenth century. Happy indeed was it for the credit of the country 
and for the fame of its artists, when Italian architecture, introduced with 
greater perfection, was released from the shackles of a debased taste, 
and allowed to claim its due place and its meed of praise. In the 
present day, though it is painful to observe the general want of refined 
taste, as well in England as on the Continent, it is gratifying to find that 
the science of architecture is making rapid strides, is becoming familiar 
to the enlightened few, and is considered a necessary part of the edu- 
cation of the man of taste and the scholar. With the following appo- 
site remarks from the Quarterly Review, let us terminate this introductory 

"The Anglo-Norman style appears in its native country with slight 
variations. Generally speaking, the Norman doorway is less enriched 
than the English portal, though it is of larger dimensions; and the same 
remark applies to the other parts of the front of the edifice. The 
windows are larger. No building now exists with a flat bordered roof, 
as at Peterborough and St. Albans;^ though it is possible that some may 
have thus been originally constructed. In such of the Norman buildings 
as bear the appearance of being built by the more scientific architects of 
the age, the arches spring from piers, except in the apses, and they are 
locked by a keystone. This construction shows that the architect did 
not forget the lessons of a better age. The masonry is always excellent; 
the stones seldom exceed a foot in length, with about a third of an inch 
of mortar in the joints. All ornaments composed of foliage, or of mathe- 
matical lines, are well sculptured ; but the artist did not always succeed 
in the representation of animal life. Spires are not an uncommon 
feature in Norman architecture ; we may instance the square pyramid at 
Vaucelles, and in the suburbs of Bayeux; they are well built of stone, 
and invariably carved into an imitation of shingles. 

[' The Abba}-e aux Hommes bad originally a wooden roof, a description of which, written by 
M. Bouet, will be found in the Bulletin Monummtale of the Society of Antiquaries, Normandj-, vol. xxix.; 
and also in a paper read by Mr. J. H. Parker, Jan. 26, 186.3, before the Eoyal Institute of British 
Architects, and published in their Transactions of the years 1862-6.3.] 


"As we have no instance of the Norman spire in England, those 
examples are valuable. At St. Nicholas the roof is wholly of stone and 
the pitch is very high. Mr. Turner observes, 'that we have here the 
exact counterpart of the Irish stone-roofed chapels, the most celebrated 
of which, that of Cormac, in Cashel Cathedral, appears, from all the 
drawings and descriptions which I have seen of it, to be altogether a 
Norman building.'" 


Mr. J. H. Parker, in his paper on the Abbaye aux Homines, Caen, 
already referred to, makes the following general observations on the 
spires of Normandy, while describing those of Caen. 

It should be observed that in nearly all the spires in this district 
the surface of the stone is cut to imitate wooden shingles or tiles, a clear 
proof that there were earlier spires of wood from which these were 
copied ; indeed there is little doubt that all the Norman towers either 
had or were intended to have spires of some kind. The frequent burning 
of the wooden spires, and the natural decay of the material in such an 
exposed situation, has caused them to disappear; and in England the 
towers have gradually been left with their square tops calling in vain for 
spires. In this part of Normandy, where the building stone is so abun- 
dant and so easily worked, stone spires were very generally introduced 
in place of the wooden ones. 

I am very much inclined to believe that Eui'ope is indebted to Caen 
and its neighbourhood for that very interesting feature in mediaeval 
architecture — the Gothic spire of stone. I know of no other district in 
which we can trace such a series of steps leading up by a natural 
succession and progress to this object, as the pyramids which form a 
common termination of the church towers of this neighbourhood. Besrin- 
ning with the very remarkable and curious low pyramid of Thaon 
(see Plate XX), which may fairly be assigned to the end of the eleventh 
century, w^e can here readily trace the successive changes at intervals 



not exceeding ten years from each other, in a series gradnally becoming 
more lofty, better executed, and evidently later in character, until we 
come first to the square spire, and then by a natural and easy transition 
to the octagonal spire with its groups of pinnacles and spire-lights 
{lucarnes) at the base. To begin .then with Thaon ; in this remarkable 
structure the surface is not made even in one gradual slope, as was 
afterwards the case, but tlie pyramid is built in a succession of steps 
with the angles chamfered ofi"; and within the stones are not cut, but left 
rough and overhanging one another, like the Irish cairns and bee-hive 
houses; and at the base of the pyramid a large piece of timber was 
introduced, like the wall-plate on top of a wall, as if to bind the tower 
together, and make a secure base to construct the pyramid upon. — The 
next pyramid in date is probably that of Comornes, near Bayeus, which 
is a tall tower possessing some curious features of quite the begiiming 
of the twelfth century or the end of the eleventh. The pyramid itself 
is low and very early-looking. It is built of ashlar, the upper part has 
been rej^aired, and has unfortunately had a window and a bell put on 
the top. The next which occurs to me is Basly, near Caen, which 
belongs to near the middle of the twelfth century, and Rosel, which 
follows very soon after. These are simple pyramids without any corner 
pinnacles; the latter has a round moulding on the angles, a finial, and 

Huppeau, near Bayeux, may come next. It is considerably taller 
than those that have gone before, but appears to be nearly if not quite 
as early. It has a large roll-moulding on the angles, and the surface 
is cut in imitation of shingles. At each of the four corners is a sort 
of rude large crocket, the lower edges of the pyramid resting upon a 
corbel-table, as is usually the case, and these corbels are very rudely 
carved, but the cutting is deep. Vaucelles, in the suburbs of Caen, has 
been repaired, but copied with tolerable fidelity, and belongs to this 
period. St. Loup at Bayeux, which has been engraved by Pugin 
{Plate XXIII.), is another very fine example of this class. St. Contest, 
near Caen, has also had the pyramid rebuilt in modern times, but 
faithfully copied, and may be classed here. Bons is a fine examj^le of 


transitional character, which may be called either a very tall pyramid or 
a square spire ; it has no corner pinnacles, but has lucarnes in the centre 
of each face. 

Douvres may be taken next: it is octagonal, but very early, quite of 
transitional character, and stands on a tower of the same period. The 
small square spires at the east end of St. Stephen's, at Caen, have been 
already mentioned, and should perhaps come before Douvres. Ducy is a 
very elegant, lofty, octagonal spire, with square piimacles, and is a little 
earlier than the western spires of St. Stephen's, Caen. 

The spires of the Cathedral of Bayeux {Plates XXV. XXVI.) are so 
much of the same character as those of St. Stephen's, Caen {Plate III), 
that they were probably building at the same time. They are not equally 
elegant, and the corner pinnacles are not so open, which gives them 
rather an earlier appearance. Secqueville has a fine spire of nearly the 
same character, possibly a little earlier, having no corner pinnacles, but 
it has lucarnes, and these correspond closely with the others. 

Those of Bretteville, Bernieres, and Langrune follow in this order, 
and bring us to about the middle of the thirteenth century. They are 
all admirable examples of elegant design and wonderfully light construc- 
tion, and each is of itself a study for a young architect. After these 
come the unfinished spires of Nori-ey and Audrieu, which brings us to the 
end of the century. Norrey is one of the most beautiful of this district 
of beautiful churches; it is often said to be copied from St. Stephen's, 
Caen, but it is almost an exact copy of the Cathedral of Bayeux on a 
small scale, quite a little model of a cathedral. It was intended to be 
made far more rich on the exterior, but was never completed. The small 
portions that are finished are exquisite pieces of Gothic detail and carving, 
but it is of considerably later date, near the end of the century. The 
spire was never completed, but it is carried above the top of the pinnacles, 
which are finished, and show what was intended to be. At the east end 
a whimsical fancy has been introduced; the two apsidal chapels have each 
a half spire carried up for a roof, so that they look as if the two had been 
split asunder, and ought to be joined together again. The effect is ver}^ 
bad, and even ludicrous, and this seems to show that when the architect 


deviated from his model he was not to be trusted, although the workmen 
possessed wonderful skill. 

This brings us to the spires of the fourteenth century, of which St. 
Peter's, at Caen {Plates XXXV. XXX VI.), is the favourite type, and 
which is commonly quoted as the perfection of a spire, although some 
prefer the earlier type, of which St. Stephen's affords the most perfect 
example. The spire of St. Saviour's, at Caen, would rank very high if it 
were not so near to St. Peter's, to which it is not quite equal." 



The history of the transition from Norman to Pointed architecture 
would scarcely now be considered complete without some special reference 
to those magnificent vaults, the development of which gave so great an 
impetus to the style, and constituted in fact its chief characteristic. 

As in all perfected architectural styles, the method of covering in or 
vaulting over large interiors will be found to have given the key-note to 
the formation of each style, so in the vaults of the middle ages may we 
trace the great development of the principal features of Gothic architecture. 

The researches which have been made by M. Viollet le Due and M. de 
Caumont in France, and by Professors Willis, Whewell, and G. G. Scott, 
and Messrs. J. Fergusson and J. H. Parker in England, and the books and 
essays that have appeared since the first publication of Pugin's Normandy, 
•have placed the subject on an entirely different footing from that laid 
down in the first quarter of this century; and the theories of Dr. Milner, 
Whittington, and others, have been altogether set aside. There is no 
phase in the history of pointed architecture fraught with more interest 
to the student than that which is displayed in the introduction of ribbed 
vaulting; and seeing that in the churches of the Abbaye aux Hommes 


and the Abbaye aux Dames, the cathedral of Bayeux, and the church of 
St. Ouen at Ronen (all of which are illustrated in this volume), will be 
found four of the principal varieties of stone vaults, we have thought 
the subject worthy of a separate chapter. 

The earliest system to which it is necessary to revert is that of the 
simple barrel- vault of the Romans, with or without intersections. These 
were constructed, as M. Viollet le Due has shown, on somewhat similar 
principles to the Gothic vault ;^ that is to say, that at certain distances 
were erected centres, planks being laid between; over these centres 
were voussoirs of bricks or tiles, placed on end, forming ribs, the spaces 
between being filled with mortar and light rubble work, and occasionally 
a single layer of flat bricks or tiles underneath ; the whole surface being 
afterwards covered with stucco, and painted or decorated with mosaics. 
No great difficulty was experienced in the formation of the quoins of 
these intersecting barrel-vaults, so long as the latter were of the same 
diameter and with their springing on the same level; when, however, as 
was often the case in the great halls of the Roman baths, the main vault 
was intersected by smaller ones with either the apex or the spri aging 
at a difierent level, the quoin or intersecting angle became a double 
curve, and exceedingly awkward to construct, presenting also disagreeable 
forms to the eye. 

The introduction of the rib, no longer to be hidden from view as in 
the Roman vault, but as a primary and leading feature on which the 
main vault itself was to be laid, and from which it was to take its form, 
constituted a new solution of the problem, and the chief and leading- 
characteristic of Gothic architecture. The advantages of this introduction 
w^ere twofold; first, it enabled the builder to erect his arched ribs on a 
simple system of centering in one plane, in most cases probably to do 
away with centering altogether for the main vault or arch; and secondly, 

' " Si Ton preiid la peine cl'anal)'ser ces larges voutes romaines, berceaii.v, voutes d'aretes, coiipoles, 
oil constate que ces. surfaces courbes, en apparence uniformes et liomogenes, sont fornixes d'une suite de 
nerfs et meme de cellules de brique dont les intervalles sont remplis par un blocage compose de pierres 
legeres et de mortier. Ainsi pour fermer une tres-graade voute, suffisait-il de poser un certain nombre 
de cintres de cliarpeute, relativement restreint et d'une force mediocre, de les reunir par une forme de 
planches sur lesquelles la voute 6tait construite." — {Didionnaire Fuusonrd, vol. ix. p. 405). 


it concentrated with more accuracy the thrust of the whole vault in 
certain well defined directions. 

It is true that in the Pantheon and Roman baths the masonry which 
counterbalanced the thrusts of their vaults was grouped in masses at the 
most important points, and so far corresponded to the comparatively thin 
walls, with occasional buttresses and flying-buttresses of the middle ages; 
but the Romans regarded these constructive expedients as unpleasant 
necessities, and therefore either carefully hid them from view, as in the 
Pantheon, or, as in their vaulted temples, made use of pilasters and 
columns, which were intended to be looked upon as decorative, wdiilst 
they were really constructive features, though not intended for the pur- 
pose to which they were thus applied. The mediaeval architects, on the 
contrary, frankly accepted the buttress, and invented new forms for it, 
which were not only in accordance with the constructive requirements 
it was called upon to fulfil, as a resistance to thrust, but were graced 
with all those decorative features which constitute its chief beauty. 

As far back as the first and second century we find the simple trans- 
verse rib used by the Romans, in the vaulting of their piscinae; its adop- 
tion, however, did not become general till the tenth century; and even 
after that date the Roman vault without ribs was still employed, as seen 
in the crypt of the Abbaye aux Dames at Caen {Plate XIV.), dating from 
1066. In the same church, but later on, we find the side aisles and choir 
vaulted in square compartments, with transverse but no diagonal ribs; 
and there is every reason to believe that the aisles of the Abbaye aux 
Hommes at Caen were vaulted over in like manner. Up to the twelfth 
century no attempt had been made to vault over the naves or transepts 
of those early Norman churches, and they were, as in England, covered 
with wooden roofs; when therefore the experiment was first made in the 
Abbaye aux Hommes, that great change was effected to which we have 
before alluded; in the place of the Roman method, in which circular 
barrel- vaults were employed, the quoin or groin being determined by the 
intersection of these vaults, an entirely new system was introduced; the 
ribs were erected first, being circular or elliptical in form, and between 
and resting on them were light stone vaults or webs, which derived their 


shape mainly from the contour of the ribs. Independently, however, of 
its nature, another difficulty presented itself in the vaulting of the nave, 
in relation to that of the side aisles; the latter had been vaulted with 
square compartments; but as the nave was twice the width of the aisles, 
or nearly so, every two bays were taken to form the square compartment; 
the immense span, however, of this vault, and the existence of an inter- 
mediate pier in each bay serving no purpose, would seem to have suggested 
the introduction of a supplementary rib across the nave, the web being 
filled in between this and the diagonal ribs, and this formed what is known 
as the hexapartite vault (see plan and section, &c., Plates II. IV. V. and 
VI.) This vault, however, had two inconveniences : in the first place, the 
diagonal rib, by its greater projection, hid a portion of one side of the 
windows; and in the second, the main thrust of the vault was exerted on 
every alternate pier only. It was true that additional strength could 
be given to these piers; and the windows, by being brought closer together 
towards the central rib, would not have had their light interfered with 
by the diagonal ribs; the former was done at the Abbaye aux Hommes, 
giving a lopsided appearance to the clerestory openings (see Plate VI.); 
the latter would have placed the windows out of the axis of these in the 
side aisles, which were naturally in the centre of each square compart- 
ment. The next step taken, therefore, appears in the first bay of the 
nave of the Abbaye aux Dames; ^ and in the transept {Plates XVI.'^ and 
X VII.), where, instead of the square hexapartite vault, we have an oblong 
compartment, whose width is equal to half its length, and with diagonal 
and transverse ribs only, forming what is called the quadripartite vault. 

Up to this epoch the transverse rib of the nave had been circular, the 
diagonal rib generally an ellipse. This form of arch was not only difficult 
to erect and to form the centre for, but was essentially weak in construc- 
tion, requiring very considerable abutment to resist its thrust: besides 
this, in order that the formerets or wall-ribs (which in these oblong com- 
partments were half the width only of the transverse ribs) should be of 

1 With tlie exception of this first bay, the nave is vaulted in a peculiar manner, which is neither 
hexapartite nor quadripartite, the intermediate rib in this case carries an arch, which, rising to the apse 
of the vault, serves but to support the keystone of the diagonal ribs and the upper ridge of the web. 


equal height with the transverse and diagonal ribs, they wei'e obliged to 
be stilted to so great an extent, that the web between became extremely 
awkward to construct, and was ungainly in form. These difficulties were 
all met by the introduction of the pointed arched rib, a stronger form, 
which exerted less thrust, and accommodated itself at once to all the 
problems of ribbed vaulting, chiefly from the fact that any number of 
arches of the same height could be struck from the same springing. It 
is probably to this introduction of the pointed arch lib that the Gothic 
style owes its chief impetus. The constructive principle of the pointed 
arch had long been known; it was used by the Assyrians for their subter- 
ranean vaults; it was introduced by the Arabs in their mosques from the 
ninth century; but its employment in ribbed vaulting dates from the 
twelfth century — the choir of the abbey of St. Denis (a.d. 1140) being 
probably the earliest example. After the introduction of the pointed rib, 
the elliptical arch was abandoned; circular arches were employed for the 
diagonal ribs, and pointed ones for the transverse and wall ribs. There 
are cases where even the diagonal ribs are pointed, as in Bayeux Cathe- 
dral [Plates XXVIII. XXIX. XXXIII. XXXIV:) and the church of 
St. Ouen {Plate XL.), as also where the wall-ribs are stilted ; but these 
form exceptions. 

But slight subsequent modihcations are to be found in French vault- 
ing; except in the elaboration of the rib mouldings, and in some cases the 
application of decorative pendants and other oi^naments to the ribs, as 
found in the church of St. Jacques at Dieppe, and in the choir and eastern 
chapels of St. Pierre at Caen. In England already in the thirteenth cen- 
tury was introduced the ridge rib; and, in later j)eriods, other supple- 
mentary ribs, for the best description of which, and the ultimate grouping 
of them into the fan-vault (a combination entirely confined to England), 
we would refer the student to Professor G. G. Scott's lectures delivered 
at the Royal Academy in 1870, and published in the professional journals 
of that year. 

It would scarcely be possible here also, without copious diagrams, to 
enter into the difference in the formation of the web in English and 
French vaults. In this country they were formed in courses of stone, of 


eqvial depth tbroughout the course, so that they dipped towards the 
diagonal ribs, as in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. In France they 
were laid horizontal, or nearly so, according to whether the keystones of 
the transverse or wall ribs were at the same level, or lower than those 
of the diagonal ribs ; besides this difference, the form of the English web 
was cylindrical, of the French domical. At Bayeux it was as nearly as 
possible cylindrical, being an exception to the general rule. The domical 
form of it is shown in the church of St. Ouen {Plate XL.) 

We have hitherto taken no notice of the means adopted to resist the 
thrust of the vault. In the Roman period they trusted almost entirely 
to the thickness of their walls; or, such buttresses as were employed were 
concealed, as in the Pantheon, or masked under the forms of decorative 

In the Abbaye aux Hommes they employed a demicylindrical or half- 
barrel vault over the triforium gallery, as shown in Plate V.; this con- 
tinuous vault, however, was really not required throughout its whole 
length, the thrust of the vault being concentrated through the ribs at 
their springing, or a little above it. In the Abbaye aux Dames, there- 
fore (the next example in point of date in Normandy), we find a simple 
flying-buttress thrown across above the aisles and at the foot of each rib.^ 
In both these cases the aisle roof covered over and hid these constructive 
forms; and the cathedral of Bayeux shows us the first example in this 
publication of the flying-buttress as an external feature, and decorated 
accordingly {Plates XX VIII. XXIX. XXXI. XXXII) In this instance 
the thrust of the vault is twice transmitted to the outer walls, in conse- 
quence of the side and choir chapels. In the church of St. Ouen at 
Rouen {Plate XL.), we see the single flying-buttress, though the elliptical 
form of its arch is not pleasing. 

1 For reasons given in our description of tliis cliurch, this flying-buttress was not of sufficient pow er, 
nor was it placed high enough, and the vault began to push out the walls, necessitating its destruction, 
and the insertion of a wooden vault painted in imitation of stone in its place (see Plate XVI.) 




PL A TE I., Frontisinece. 

THE frontispiece to this volume contains the representation of an 
entrance doorway, and some architectural details, from a church in 
the village of St. Germain de Blanche-Herbe, commonly called "La Mala- 
drerie," from a lazar-house founded there by Henry II. a.d. 1161. The 
village is situated about one mile west of Caen, and the oi-namental 
detail of the doorway principally consists of an archivolt richly adorned 
with a sharp chevron moulding, interspersed with foliage and grotesque 
heads, each angle of the chevron being filled with a different design. The 
string-courses placed beneath the doorw^ay consist of two different pat- 
terns, as also the corbel-table above. The sunk panels in the angle are 
taken from another building. [This chapel of La Maladrerie is situated 
in the village, and must not be confounded with the chapel attached to 
the ancient lazar-house, which was destroyed in 1826 (after Pugin's visit 
to it), to make way for the new " Maison centrale de detention."] 

In the vicinity of this village, and at a place on the opposite side of 
the river, are the celebrated quarries from which the noted Caen-stone is 
now, and has for many centuries been, obtained. This stone, like that of 
Bath, in England, is soft, and easily worked; but it is of a more compact 
substance and of finer grain: its weight is 150 pounds to the French 
cubic foot in the quarry. The quarries are worked in the manner of 


caves, and thus guarded against exposure to the weather, to preserve the 
surface of the rocks from frost. Most of the stone is obtained from a 
stratum between 20 and 36 feet from the surface. The mode of working 
the quarries is by excavating chambers of 25 feet, at the extremities of 
which solid piers are left to support the roof, which is 20 feet in height. 
The stones are raised through shafts, at the top of which are large wheels, 
turned by two or three men. The ground landlord usually lets a piece 
of land, measuring 200 by 100 French feet, on lease for nine years. 
During the Norman dynasty in England, the Caen-stone was imported 
into this island in large quantities. It is related that it was employed 
in London Bridge, the Tower of London, \Yestminster Abbey, Canterbury 
Cathedral, &c. Ducarel has quoted some charters showing the estimation 
in which it was held. 

[According to the late Mr. C. W. Smith, the Caen-stone as now quarried 
and used both in Normandy and England, is much inferior to that which 
was used in the abbeys and churches of Caen from the eleventh to the 
fifteenth century. In order to ascertain the exact truth of the matter, 
Mr. Smith visited Caen, and made a careful examination of the buildings 
there and in the vicinity, and having obtained an old map of the locality, 
he found places named in French " The Hollow Way," " The Old Quarry," 
" The New Quarry," " Tlie Little Quarry," all situated in the immediate 
vicinity of the great churches and castle of Caen; there were in fact 
quarries almost underneath the churches, all of which had been deserted 
for three or four centuries. On going inside them he found stone pre- 
cisely similar to that of which the old churches were built; and which, 
though belonging to the same geological series, were very difi'erent in 
point of durability from that Caen-stone of which the modern buildings 
in London were constructed. In one church, " St. Pierre," the elaborate 
stone work of the fifteenth century was in an almost perfect state of 
preservation; no stone, however, at present brought from Caen, would 
bear anything like that degree of weathering, as it was far from being 
equally durable with that of bygone times.] 

The stones known in France by the name of Carreaux d'Allemagne are 
much used for floors of rooms in Normandy, and nearly all over the 


kingdom. Great quantities are also exj^orted. A fossil crocodile was 
found in these quarries in 1817, perfect in form, with the scales clearly 
defined. It consequently excited much curiosity amongst geologists. 



The church belonging to this abbey is stated by Huet^ to have been 
built by William, Duke of Normandy, in 1064; but the Abbe' de la Rue 
argues, from the phraseology of the foundation charter, that the edifice 
was not commenced till after the conquest of England, in 1066."- Lan- 
franc, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, was appointed the first abbot, 
and he began the building of the church;^ which was completed under 
his successor, William de Bonne Ame; and, according to the testimony 
of Ordericus Vitalis, a contemporary historian, it was dedicated in 1077.^ 
Some writers have indeed referred this event to the year 1073, while 
others date the dedication of the church in 1081 or 1086;' but the jare- 
cise and circumstantial narrative of Ordericus gives superior probability 
to the date which he has advanced, and which De la Rue has adopted. 

[Mr. Parker remarks:'' — "It is rather singular that, notwithstanding 

' Huet, Origincs de Caen, 2d edit. 1706, p. 175. 

^ Essais Historiques sur la Ville de Caen, torn. ii. p. 52 In the foundation charter William takes the 
title of "Eex Anglorum," and bestows on the monastery much English property: in reference to the 
building of the abbey he says, disposui consiruendum; words which imply that the work was not executed 
when the charter was granted. See Neustria Pia, p. 626. 

^ In the chartulary of St. Stephen, among several contracts entered into by Lanfranc, while abbot, is 
one relating to four acres of land whence stone was procured to build the monastery {"unde lopidex 
extrahuntur ad opus mmasterii"). Huet asserts that the stone used for this edifice was brought from the 
quarries of Vaucelles and Allemagne, near Caen; which statement is objected to by De la Eue, who, liow- 
ever, does not mention the place whence the stone was obtained. — Orig. de Caen, p. 179 ; Essais Ilisiorirpjes, 
tome ii. p. 59. 

* Orderici Hist. Ecdes. lib. v. ad ann. 1077. ^ Huet, Orig. de Caen, p. 175; and Dumonsticr, p. 625. 

[^ Paper read before the Royal Institute of British Architects, .Tan. 26th, 1863, and published in their 
Transactions 1862-6.3.] 


the notoriety of those foundations, it is difficult to ascertain the exact 
year in which the buildings were commenced; the authorities differ con- 
siderably in the dates, both of foundation and of consecration: 1064, 1066, 
and 1070 are mentioned for the foundation; and 1071, 1073, 1077, and 
1078 for the dedication of St. Stephen's. Lanfranc was sent to Rome in 
1059 to make peace with the pope, Nicholas II., and returned in 1060 
with the pardon and its conditions agreed upon: the foundation, there- 
fore, could not have been before that year, and as Lanfranc was made 
abbot of St. Stephen's in 1066, it is probable that some of the buildings 
were then ready, although the consecration of the church did not take 
place until eleven years afterwards, in 1077. Trinity Church (Abbaye 
aux Dames) is said to have been consecrated in 1066. Possibly it 
was not convenient to carry on these two large works at the same 
time, and Matilda's church may have been finished before Williams 
was commenced; or what is more probable is that either a tem]3orary 
wooden church was the one consecrated in 1066, or that only just as 
much as was necessary for performing the service was then ready, 
and the altar was consecrated — the papal bull of foundation, granting 
special privileges to the abbey of St. Stephen, is dated in 1068. 
The abbey was richly endowed with lands both in Normandy and 
England. Lanfranc was made Archbishop of Canterbury in 1070, leaving 
the buildings of his abbey very incomplete, to be carried on by his 

As will be seen on referring to Plate II., the plan of the church con- 
sists of — a vestibule at the west end, to which entrance is obtained through 
three doorways — a nave of eight bays with side aisles — a chapel of three 
bays at the north-west end — a transept of five bays (two of which have 
each at the north and south extremities respectively a chapel with an 
intermediate vault of two bays at the level of the aisle vault) — a small 
apse on the eastern side of the southern chapel, and a third bay to 
the northern chajjel — a choir of four bays and the apse with side aisles 
round, and a series of thirteen chapels, seven of which form the chevet. 
This choir and chevet, dating from the thirteenth century, replaced the 
original choir of the eleventh century, which consisted, according to 


Mr. Fergusson' (and taken by him from Ramee, Histoire Generale de 
U Architecture), of two apses at the north and sonth ends of the transept, 
and a central choir of two bays and the apse, the side aisles being con- 
tinued to the north and south of the two bays, and terminating by a 
straight wall. No authority is given for this termination, and as in 
Romsey abbey church, where a similar arrangement occurs, internally 
the aisle terminates with an apse, this may possibly have been the case 
in the original choir of the Abbaye aux Hommes. 

-The earliest parts of the abbey church now remaining are — the east 
wall of the central tower — the outer walls of the transepts and nave — 
and the original west front, which forms the back of the present western 
towers. These parts were probably built between 1073, when the original 
choir was finished, and the conclusion of the reign of William I., in 1087; 
and they do, in fact, comprise the main structure of the present nave and 
transepts, but so much disguised and altered in appearance by the inser- 
tion of the vault that considerable care is required to distinguish the 
original parts. The west front was long considered as the especial type 
of the Norman style at the time of the Conquest; it now appears from the 
close examination of M. Bouet, that it cannot possibly belong to that 
period, but is the work of the next generation, when the art of building 
had considerably improved and the masons had become more skilful. 
The upper portion of the towers belongs to the latter part of the eleventh 
century, the sj)ires are of the thirteenth, being amongst the earliest 
Gothic spires. The vaults of the nave transept date from the twelfth 
century, great changes having then been made in the arrangement of the 
clerestory, to which we shall allude farther on. Mr. Parker remarks: 
"There is no direct historical evidence of the period at which the central 
vault was constructed, but large benefactions to the abbey are recorded in 
the time of Henry II. about 1160-1165, and the architectural character of 
the details of the vault agrees perfectly with other buildings of that period." 

The exact date of the reconstruction of the choir is not known. It 
has been erroneously attributed to the middle of the fourteenth centur}-, 

[' Fergusson's History of Jrchiteciure.] 

[- The principal dates and facts here are taken from Mr. Parker's paper already referred tci.] 


(luring the administration of Simon de Trevieres; this, however, would be 
much too late a date for it, and M. Bouet has shown that the traditions 
setting it down as his work refer probably to the constructiou of the 
Chapelle Halbout (called morning chapel on Plate II.), which was some- 
times used as a choir during alterations in the actual choir. Mr. Parker 
assigns 1230 to 1250 as the probable period, though the character of the 
detail is such that it might safely be ascribed to the beginning of the 
thirteenth or even the end of the twelfth century. 

The central tower or lantern fell down in 1566, leaving the eastern 
wall only standing; the western side was rebuilt in 1602, and the two 
eastern piers of the nave along with it. At the same period, or during 
the next twenty years, were reconstructed, according to M. Bouet,' 
the vault of the nave tribune, originally built at the same time as the 
nave vault, the vaulting of the side aisles, and the pierced balustrade of 
the tribune. 

In the seventeenth century also were rebuilt the northern side of the 
clerestory and tribune of the choir, the southern side of the latter, together 
with the vaulting, and some of the vaulting also of the choir aisle on the 
north side. In the eighteenth century the upper portions of the south- 
west spire, injured by lightning, were rebuilt; and in the commencement 
of this century much restoration throughout, including, unfortunately, a 
general scraping of the wall surfaces, rendering it very difficult to dis- 
tinguish the older parts from the new. 

Returning now to a description of the building in detail, the western 
front exhibits different characters according to the period of its erection. 
The lower portion, built towards the close of the eleventh century, and 
added to the original west facade, is extremely plain, the decoration 
being confined to the archivolts of the doorways, which consist of tw^o 
orders and a label moulding.] 

Above these entrances is a double range of semicircular windows. 
The central compartment, corresponding to the nave in width, is finished 
by a high pointed gable, and the two lateral ones are carried up into 
lofty towers, supporting octagonal spires. The towers consist of three 

[1 Analyse Architedurale de VAhhaye de St. Etienne de Caen, by G. Bouet, p. 134.] 


stories, the lowest of which, on each face, has a range of seven blank 
arcades, without any mouldings or imposts; the second has five arches of 
a larger size, two of which are pierced, and have shafts, capitals, and 
bases. The third and uppermost story exhibits two large arches, rising 
from clustered shafts, and inclosing smaller arches, which are also 
pierced with windows. The towers are finished by a cornice, above 
which rise sixteen rich perforated pinnacles, surrounding the base of 
the spire, the form and tracery of the pinnacles being diflerent on each 
tower. The north-east angle of the northern tower is flanked by a semi- 
circular buttress, or staircase-turret, partaking throughout of the charac- 
teristics of the square faces of the tower. [The spire itself has angle rolls, 
and is decorated with bands of five courses of stone cut in imitation of 
shingles, three plain courses of stone intervening between each band. 

The external wall of the side aisles and triforium gallerj^ is strengthened 
by flat bvittresses, the relieving arch between, however, being pointed and 
not circular, as shown in the drawing {Plate V.). The lower portion 
of this wall is now masked by the classic corridor of the Lycee or school 
attached to the abbey church. The exterior of the clerestory of the nave 
is decorated with a continuous arcade, consisting of twenty-two arches, 
eight of which are pierced with windows.] 

At the extremity of the north transept are three very shallow but- 
tresses, which rise from the ground to the sills of the clerestory windows, 
unbroken by any interruption, but here they meet with a string-course, 
above which the two outer ones are continued to the summit of the ends 
of the gable, while the centre one is reduced in depth. Over this latter 
buttress is a windoAv; and between the buttresses are six other windows, 
arranged in double rows. Eastward of the transepts is a series of blank 
arches, remarkable for their mouldings, which consist of a flat, wide, and 
very shallow band; and here the mixture of the pointed with the Norman 
or circular architecture commences.^ 

[The external decoration of the choir will be best understood by 
reference to Plates IX. X. and XL, the only part not shown being the 
elevation of the chevet chapels, these on plan form a series of convex 

1 Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, vol. i. p. 23. 


curves with buttresses in the angles of their junction; fiom these but- 
tresses to the centre of each chapel wall arches are thrown across to carry 
the cornice and parapet/ which becomes one large semicircle on plan ; 
a somewhat similar arrangement is to be found in the choirs of Bayeux 
and Coutances cathedrals. 

Returning now to the nave (the interior of which is represented in 
Plates IV. V. and VI.) we find it to be divided into eight bays, each bay 
being divided vertically into three stories. The lower one has semi- 
circular arches of two orders and stilted, carried on attached columns 
and piers, and opening to the side aisles. The middle story has similar 
arches not stilted, on columns of less height, and opening to the triforium 
gallery; and the upper story, or clerestory, has lofty and narrow arches 
decorated with the embattled fret ornament, with windows behind, and 
sub- or smaller arches on the side of the intermediate rib only. 

The side aisles M. Bouet has shown were originally covered with half- 
barrel vaults intersected and without ribs. In the seventeenth century 
a new vault was constructed with pointed ribs, thus raising the floor 
of the triforium gallery and hiding the bases of the columns and piers 
there. The balustrade pierced wdth quatrefoils belongs also to this period. 
The half-barrel vault of the triforium, reconstructed in the seventeenth 
century, was copied from that which was erected probably at the same 
time as the nave vaults, and served as an abutment for them; the original 
covering being a wooden roof.'^ 

Previous to the investigations of Mr. J. H. Parker, M. Ruprich Pvobert, 
and M. Bouet, it had been supposed that the existing clerestory wall, 
with its openings, was of the same date as the lower w^alls of the nave. 
The discovery, however, of two arches above the web of the present vault 
by Mr. Ruprich Robert, in 1860, pointed out that, with the arches in 
front of the windows, there were in each double bay of the nave a series 
of four arches carried on columns. It had also been assumed that the 

[1 See drawing in Institute l'ransaction.% Jan. 2(5, 1863, attached to Mr. Parker's paper, and taken 
from the Monasticon GalUcanum, 1684; on this drawing will also be seen the central tower, the upper 
portion of which was rebuilt in the seventeenth century, as well as four other towers containing the 
stairs which lead to the roof. - Bouet, Analyse. Architecturale, p. 221.] 


nave and transepts were vaulted in the first instance, whereas now it is 
generally agreed that the first church (as all cliurches in the north of 
France at this epoch) was covered with a wooden roof. The exact nature 
of this wooden roof and its relation to the four arched openings, and to 
the vaulting shafts, has been the subject of much conjecture. These 
vaulting shafts (see plan Plates II. and V.) consist alternately of a three- 
quarter detached column with and without a pilaster; they are both of 
the same date as the nave walls, and one of the points in dispute turns 
upon the original object in the difiference of their form. 

Mr. Parker believes that the shaft with pilaster was made more 
important in order to carry an arch spanning the nave, as in the abbey 
church of Cerisy, near Bayeux, thus serving the purpose of a tiuss, the 
intermediate shaft carrying a secondary truss : he does not explain, how- 
ever, how this intermediate shaft was coupled to the central column of 
the four arcades above-mentioned. 

M. Ruprich Robert points out that the absence of any external but- 
tresses to the clerestory of Abbaye aux Hommes is a sufiicient reason 
that there should be no arch inside, and that the buttresses of Cerisy, its 
later date than that supposed, and other differences in the arrangement 
of the arcades, preclude the possibility of its being taken as a precedent 
for the Abbaye aux Hommes. He believes that the difierence in the 
vaulting shafts is due to the fact of its having been originally intended 
to have a principal and secondary trusses only and no arch, and assumes 
that the two central arcades were the result of an after-thought, there 
being only two projected at first, viz. those in front of the windows. 

M. Bouet, we believe, originated Mr. Parker's opinion as regards the 
arch spanning the nave; he seems, however, in his Analyse ArcMteckcrale 
(p. 35), to entertain the idea that it was intended from the beginning to 
vault over the nave with quadripartite vaults, taking in two bays each, and 
he points out in support of this theory the means taken to counterbalance 
the thrust of this nave vault by the conjunction of the inner and outer 
wall of the clerestory with solid masonry on each side of the main ribs, 
and the isolation of the four arcades in the centre of each double bay, 
whilst at Cerisy the arcade fills up the whole width. This, however, does 


not explain the use of the intermediate shaft. Between these various 
opinions it is difl&cult to draw any line; we believe, however, on the 
whole, that M. Ruprich Robert is right, and that Mr. Parker's sugges- 
tion of the arch is not tenable. This becomes the more evident when we 
examine the elevations of the original clerestory walls as restored in M. 
Bouet's and M. Ruprich Robert's works, for in both of them the pilaster 
and shaft are carried up to the level of the springing of the four arcades, 
far above, therefore, any possible springing of an arch spanning the nave. 
Mr. Parker himself allows "that the difference in the size and form of the 
alternate piers is, taken by itself, no positive proof that there were 
original transverse arches of stone to carry the roof, as at Cerisy; the 
same arrangement occurs at Winchester and at Waltham, which were not 
vaulted, and had no transverse arches ; so that they must have been used 
for carrying the principal timbers only;" on the other hand, the strength 
of the original walls behind the transverse ribs of the present vault 
would be an argument in favour of the transverse arch were it not for 
the continuation of this shaft above-mentioned. 

The Halbout chapel at the north-west end of the church, built in the 
commencement of the fourteenth century, was in great part destroyed by 
the Pratestants, and "the present tracery of the windows," M. Bouet 
remarks, "may date from 1620, though portions have been restored in 
this century." 

At the northern and southern extremities of the transept are small 
chapels of two ba3^s each vaulted at the level of the aisle vault; this was 
a common feature both in Normandy and England at this period (eleventh 
century). These chapels were terminated on the eastern side by small 
apses, one of which probably forms the foundation of the present apse 
(now used as a sacristy) on the south side; the other apse has been 
replaced by what we may regard as a third bay to the chaj^el. 

The first of these two, as will be seen from the drawings {Plates VII. 
and VIII.), is an extremely beautiful example of early thirteenth centuiy 
work. The lower portion of the chapel may be looked upon as a dado 
or base, on which ai-e placed the columns and coupled shafts carrying 
the vault ; these columns and shafts are detached from the wall, leaving- 


a narrow corridor behind at a height of 9 ft. 6 in. from the floor, thns 
giving a light and elegant appearance to the chapel. 

It is singular that notwithstanding the immense importance of the 
choir of the Abbaye aux Hommes, there should be no record of its date. 
Previous to the investigations of M. Bouet and Mr. Parker it had usually 
been assigned to the fourteenth century, being attributed, as before 
stated, to Abbot Simon, 1314-1344.' M. Hippeau, however, has shown* 
tliat in the epitaph of the Abbot Simon there is no mention of the choir, 
which would certainly have been made if it had been executed during 
his abbacy ; and M. Bouet points out that the form of letter on the tomb 
of the architect of the choir accords so far with the style of work as to 
bring back the date to the commencement of the thirteenth century, or 
even the last years of the twelfth. "In fact," he says, "although at first 
sight the choir appears to be entirely Gothic, there still remain a sufii- 
cient number of details purely Norman in their style to render this last 
date admissible. For instance, the zigzags in the choir-arches and in 
the wall-ribs of the choir recall to mind those in the cathedral of 
Canterbury, in those portions built about 1178 by William of Sens.'^ 

Referring to the similarity between these two buildings, Prof. Willis, 
in his work on the latter, remarks : " Now Lanfranc, before he was made 
Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first abbot of the monastery of St. 
Stephen at Caen, the church of which was built under his direction, being- 
begun in 1064, and dedicated in 1077, after his appointment to Canterbury. 
The two churches were therefore building at the same time. The church 
at Caen, like that at Canterbury, has its original choir replaced by 
one in the thirteenth century, probably for a similar reason — enlarge- 
ment. The portions which it retains are alike in plan and arrangement 
to the corresponding parts of Canterbury, alike in the number of piers, 
in having western towers, transepts without aisles, a central tower, 
eastern chapels to the transepts, and the pillar and vault at the end 
of each transept. In some of the churches erected in England by the 

[ 1 Mr. Britton, however, in liis first edition, protests against this date, judging from the style 
of architecture alone.] 

[- Monograjjhk de VAhhaye de St. Elieniie, p. 340. ^ Anahjse Architedurale, Bouet, p. 70.] 


Bishop of Diu-ham, Hugues de Pinsit {vulgo Pudsey), we find capitals 
decorated with leaves, terminated by small volntes;^ similar leaves to 
these are fonnd in the frieze and capitals of the choir of St. Stephen 
{Plates IX. XII.). In another church (Sherburn Chapel, 1183), built by 
the same prelate, is a capital very similar to one in the Abbaye aux 
Hommes. It is therefore natural to suppose that these edifices belong 
to about the same period."' 

On the other hand, M. Hippeau (p. 340)' remarks "that in 1250 the 
abbey was in debt to the fourth part of its revenue ; may we not, there- 
fore," says he, speaking of these debts, "attribute them with certainty to 
the expenses caused by the construction of the choir?" 

Mr. Parker,-' in endeavouring to fix the date, compares the work in 
the choir of St. Stephen with that of the cathedral of Lisieux, and comes 
to the conclusion that " the style of the choir and apse of St. Stephen's at 
Caen evidently comes between the nave and the apse of Lisieux, the latter 
being pure Norman Gothic, and in the opinion of the best Norman anti- 
quaries the date cannot be put before 1200, and between that and 1220 
is the probable date. The only vestige of the Romanesque style is the use 
of the zio^zao- ornament in the moulding of the arches of the choir, and, 
perhaps, the very singular use of plain segmental arches to carry the 
vault of the triforium gallery, partly enriched by the ornamental heads 
of the arches of the arcade in front of them. This is a clumsy piece of 
construction, which would hardly have been used after the Gothic style 
was established." 

The new choir was erected in consequence of the demand for a much 
greater space than had hitherto been required for the church services. 
The number of reliques also brought from the East at the epoch of the 
Crusades called for the erection of numerous chapels, and the choir-aisle 
to give access to them. 

The new choir proper consisted of four bays and the apse, the side 
aisles were continued round the latter, and a series of thirteen chapels, 
seven of which formed the chevet, were added. The division walls 

\} See Plate in M. Bouet's work, p. 72. (Tynemoiith.)] 

[- Momgraphie de VAbhaye de St. Eiienne. ^ Paper in Transactions. E. I. B. A., 1865-6G.] 


between these chevet chapels were carried to a height of only six feet, so 
that, as it were, a double colonnade was formed {see plan), producing a 
very beautiful effect. The extreme lightness and elegance of this part 
of the church, the variety in the perspective, and the play of light and 
shade, constitute in this chevet one of the finest specimens of early French 
architecture in Normandv. 

Reference to the drawings {Plates IX. X. XI.) will show the nature 
of the interior of this new choir. The main heights of the nave are 
carried through. The arches of the seven bays of the apse are stilted to 
bring them to the same height as those in the choir; a similar arrange- 
ment is found at Canterbury, in contradistinction to the lancet-arches 
of the apses of most of our cathedrals. The coupled columns of the apse 
are similar to those of Canterbury. The arches, however, of the triforium 
gallery are far lighter and more elegant in the Abbaye aux Hommes. 
In the choir these arches are semicircular, inclosing two pointed arches ; 
in the apse they are pointed. In the clerestory there are two windows 
to each bay of the choir, one to each of the apse. In front of the former 
is a central pointed and two half arches carried on slender columns, there 
being a narrow corridor behind them. 

It is only of late years that the subsequent history of this choir has 
been thoroughly investigated ; and M. Bouet has shown in his analysis 
of the present structure that a considerable portion was rebuilt in the 
seventeenth century. 

This reconstruction was necessitated by the ravages caused by the 
Protestants, for, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the whole 
church was a perfect wreck comj^ared with its present condition. The 
choir, in fact, was in so bad a state that its rebuilding was deemed hoj^e- 
less, and permission had been given to make use of its old materials in 
the restoration of the nave and other parts of the church. Fortunately, 
however, this was not done; and so much care was taken in the recon- 
struction as to render it a difiicult task to distinguish between the old 
work and the new. 

The investisrations of M. Bouet have shown that the nave-vault, the 
half-barrel vault over the triforium gallery, the balustrades to the same. 


the side-aisle vault, the greater portion of the roofs, a portion of the 
Halbout chapel before referred to, the two great piers of the central 
tower adjoining the nave, the northern side of the clerestory and triforium 
galler}^ of the choir, the southern side of the latter, together with the 
vaulting, and some of the vaulting of the choir-aisle on the north side, 
were restored, if not rebuilt, in the first quarter of the seventeenth cen- 
tury; many changes being afterwards made in the roofs. 

In the commencement of the eighteenth century the western front 
and towers were restored, and the choir and chapels were enclosed with 
magnificent "grilles," all of these latter having been destroyed at the 
time of the Revolution. The establishment of the Lycee or "departe- 
mental" school in Caen at the beginning of this century called for the 
destruction of many of the old abbey buildings, which is much to be 
regretted; at the same time, however, since thirty years, the church 
has been intrusted to the care of intelligent architects, M. Guy and 
M. Ruprich Robert, under whose hands the present fabric bids fair to be 
properly preserved and cared for.] 



If the testimonies of Ordericus Vitalis and William of Jumieges are 
to be implicitly credited, this church must have been commenced, if not 
far advanced, before the year 1064;^ and it is said to have been dedicated 
in June, 1066, by Maurilius, Archbishop of Rouen. With the annexed 
abbey, it was endowed with amiDle revenues by Matilda, wife of Duke 
William, who, about the same time, founded and established the neigh- 
bouring monastery of St. Stephen, for monks. The royal pair had 
married in contravention of a canon of the church, which prohibits 

' These historians state that the first abbess, Matilda, died iu 1112, after governing the abbey more 
than forty-seven years. — See Huet, Origlnes de Caen, p. 177. 


marriages between persons of certain degrees of kindred.^ That of the 
Trinity was founded for nnns of the Benedictine order, and was invested 
with extensive manorial rights, privileges, and immunities.^ Its annual 
revenue was estimated at 70,000 livres. The abbesses were of distin- 
guished rank and of high connection. Among them we find the names 
of Bourbon, Valois, Albret, Montmorency, and Ce'cily, the youngest 
daughter of the founder, who, it is related, was devoted by her parents 
to the monastic life on the day of dedicating the church. The nuns 
of this house were mostly of noble birth, and were invested with many 
privileges and exemptions. They were not bound by vows, were allowed 
to see their friends in private apartments, had the charge of younger 
relatives, and were permitted to eat meat at their meals on days when 
fasting was enjoined in other houses. 

[Researches made at intervals since the year 1850 show that with the 
exception of the crypt, scarcely any portion of the first church founded 
in 1064 remains. M. Ruprich Robert, however, the architect employed 
by the French government to superintend the restoration, has made the 
most careful examination of the building, and has pviblished a pamphlet^ 

^ William, Duke of Xormandy, commonly and inaccurately called the Conqueror, married his first 
cousin, Matilda, daughter of Baldwin, Count of Flanders. This offended the clergy, and particularly 
Lanfranc, then resident at Bee, who ventured to reprehend the duke in rather harsh terms. Indignant 
at his clerical insolence, the duke banished the "proud priest." An interview again occurred, and 
Lanfranc engaged to visit the supreme pontiif, who granted a dispensation to the duke and his duchess 
on their founding two abbeys, respectively for nuns and monks. [Mr. Parker, in his paper before 
quoted, draws attention to a communication made by the late Mr. Stapleton to the Archceological Journal, 
vol. iii., in which he endeavours to show that there was another cause for this besides consanguinity — • 
that Matilda had previously been married to Gerbodo, the avo-u^ of St. Bertin, and that the issue of this 
marriage were Gerbodo, Earl of Chester, Frederick, and Gundrada, wife of William Warren and foundress 
of Lewes Priory. He endeavours to show that the cause of their excommunication was that the Pope 
had refused to consent to her divorce from her first husband, and consequently that her marriage with 
William would have been null, if they had not succeeded in making their peace with the Pope.] 

- By the Domesday Survey it ajjjjears that it possessed many estates in the counties of Essex, 
Dorset, Devon, and Gloucester, in England. These distant lands were occasionally visited by the lady 
abbess. M. de la Rue tells us that he saw a diary of the Abbess Georgetta du Molley Bacon, in which 
it is recorded that she embarked at the Fort of Caen, Aug. 16, 1-370, with fifteen attendants, and landed 
at London, whence she proceeded to Felsted, in Essex; and that she returned home the following year. — 
Essais Historiques, &c., tom. ii. p. 19. 

P LEglise St. Triniid (Abbaye aux Dames) et VEglise St. Eticnne (Abba)e aux Hommes) b, Caen. 

Caen, 1861, 8vo.] 



on the abbey church, from which ^ve are able to glean the following- 

The nave is composed of two rows of j)iers, and two walls forming the 
side aisles. The line of these walls is not parallel to that of the piers : 
that on the north side inclining inwards as it approaches the transept ; 
that on the south side slightly outwards. It would seem therefore as 
if a more ancient nave had existed, and that in its reconstruction the 
central axis had been deviated from its original line. The arches also 
of the nave are carried only on single shafts, excej)t at the transept and 
the western tower ends, where they rest on two shafts side by side (see 
Plate XVI^.), a disj^osition which seems to belong to another design. 
The side-aisle walls are pierced with circular headed windows, the axes of 
which do not correspond with the side-aisle vaulting; and flat buttresses 
now destroyed (though restored in plan, Plate XVP\, from M. Ruprich 
Robert's woodcut) were placed pretty regularly between these windows. 
These buttresses therefore were not situated in line with or opposite to 
the nave-piers. We may therefore conclude that the nave-piers were 
not built at the same time as the side-aisle walls, but are of later date. 
These facts and the difference in the style of the capitals and bases of 
the crypt, the lower part of the towers, and of the nave-piers, have led 
M. Ruprich Robert to place in the following chronological order those 
parts of the church which are Norman in style. 

To the first period belong the crypt, the central tower up to the roof 
of the church, the lower portion of the western towers and front, the 
walls of the transept, and the side-aisle walls of the nave. 

To the second period: the piers of the nave, the vaults of the side 
aisle, the upper portion of the towers, a part of the transept walls (tri- 
forium), and the choir. 

To the third period : the walls of the nave above the nave-arches, 
the vaulting shafts and clerestory of the transept, and the vaulting of 
the nave and transepts, with the flying-buttresses under the aisle roof. 

The work of the first period M. Robert assigns as that of Matilda, 
as well as four apses, two on either side of the choir; two of these to 
the north, shown on plan, have been rebuilt on the old foundations; the 


remains of the two others on the south side have been discovered under 
tlie thirteenth century chapel (salle capitulaire). 

Possibly from the difficulty of carrying on two such large works as 
the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames at the same time, 
the continuation of the latter may have been deferred till the end of the 
eleventh century, the date of the second period. Considerable changes 
were then made, as already pointed out, in the position of the nave-piers. 
The choir was also built at this period. Its plan does not accord with the 
ancient crypt, the axes of the windows do not correspond, and the walls 
are built within those of the crypt. The vault of the choir is groined, 
without ribs, and belongs to the same epoch as that of the side aisles. 

When in the middle of the twelfth century (the third period) it was 
determined to vault both nave and transept, great additions and altera- 
tions were made in the existing structure. In the transept a new 
clerestory wall was built, and vaulting shafts were added. In the nave 
the whole of the wall above the arches was rebuilt, including triforium 
and clerestory ; simple shafts to carry the trusses of the original wooden 
roof had existed, to these were added and carried on corbels small vault- 
ing shafts to receive the diagonal ribs of the vault. The upper order of 
the nave-arches was added, and decorated with the embattled fret orna- 
ment similar to that round the clerestory windows of the Abbaye aux 
Hommes. The triforium gallery which runs beneath the clerestory 
windows necessitated an increased thickness of the nave-w all, which was 
obtained by throwing arches' across between the piers. In order to resist 
the thrust of the new vault flying-buttresses were built across the aisles ; 
as however these buttresses were placed too low, and no buttresses were 
added to the old aisle walls, the vault began to push out the nave- walls, 
rendering necessary the destruction of the stone vault and its replace- 
ment by a vault in wood and plaster," painted to represent stone. 

\} We have added to Pngin's plate (XFIL) tlie flying-buttress and supporting arcla liere mentioned, 
taking tliem from M. Euprich Robert's pamphlet. The vault of the side aisles is a circular barrel-vault, 
and not pointed as shown in the illustration.] 

[2 This wooden and plaster vault is shown in Pugin's drawing (Plate XVI.) Since 1859 it has been 
replaced by a vault in hollow brick and light stone ribs, and new buttresses have been added to the 
aisle walls.] 

/ • 


The towers of the west fagade were in the twelfth ceutiiiy sur- 
mounted by stone spires; these were destroyed in 1360 when the abbey 
was fortified. 

In the thirteenth century the central tower, which had been partially 
destroyed, was restored, and the story with three pointed-arch windows 
on each face was added. At the same time was built the chapel on the 
south side of the choir, which served as the chapter-house. On the 
north^ side another chapel was constructed; this was destroyed probably 
when the hospital buildings were erected under Louis XIV. 

Returning now to a description of the plates, the first {Plate XIII.) 
represents the entrance-gateway to the abbey. This has now been 
destroyed to make way for the new street leading direct up to the 
hospital gates. It was placed to the south-west of the abbey church, 
at about 50 yards distance from it. 

The crypt, the oldest portion of the abbey church, is shown in Plate 
XIV.; the vaulting is groined, without ribs, and is carried on sixteen 
columns and eighteen semi-detached shafts: the capitals, two of which 
are drawn to a larger scale in Plate X V., show clearly their classic origin 
in the volutes and rows of leaves above the necking. 

The plan, Plate XVP\, which has been added to this edition, will 
serve to explain the peculiar nature of the vaulting of this church. The 
vestibule, or narthex, is vaulted over by a hexapartite vault; the first 
bay of the nave with an oblong quadripartite vault; and the eight 
succeeding bays with four quadripartite vaults, and an intersecting rib 
and arch. We have already, in our Introductory Essay on Vaulting, 
drawn attention to the peculiarity of this latter feature, which serves 
only to carry out the division of the double bay of the nave without 
materially assisting to carry the vault. It is difiicult to understand 
why, when in the Abbaye aux Hommes the use of such an intermediate 
rib had been found out, viz. to divide and assist in carrying legitimately 

P The terms north, south, east, and west have been hitherto adojited to indicate the rehitive positions 
of the various parts of the church. The principal axis, however, does not run from west to east, as is 
usual, but inclines towards the south. The same disposition is found in three other churches of Caen, 
viz. St. Pierre, St. Gilles, and St. Sauveur.] 


tlie web, it should have been neglected here; and we were inclined to 
believe that this was the first attempt at the subdivision of the double 
quadripartite bay. M. Ruprich Robert, however, judging from the more 
careful workmanship of the ribs, and the introduction of a flying-buttress 
only at the position required to resist thrust, places the construction of 
this vault after that of the Abbaye aux Hommes, where, it will be 
remembered, the thrust is overcome by a continuous half-barrel vault. 
The main diflerence in the two examples is found in the formation of 
the web. The intermediate rib in the Abbaye aux Dames carries a 
vertical wall, which, rising to the apex of the vault, serves only to 
support the keystones of the web (which is quadripartite in principle); 
in the Abbaye aux Hommes the web is formed between the diagonal 
and intermediate ribs, or, in other terms, forms a conical vault between 
them (see Plates XVI. and IV.) 

The centre bay of the transept is a square quadripartite vault; the 
.northern and southern bays have additional ribs carried on vaulting 
shafts in the centre of the north and south walls of the transept 

The choir consists of two square bays, and the apsidal end with heavy 
transverse but no diagonal ribs; the triforium is not carried into the 
choir, there being no aisles. In the aj)se are two stories with five 
arcades each, the arches being carried on detached columns with richly 
carved capitals {Plate XVI); it is vaulted with a semi-dome; and in the 
centre of the choir is the tomb of the foundress. The erection of the 
south chapel with three pointed arch openings necessitated the cutting 
away of the vaulting shafts of the transept, which are now carried above 
the central arch on corbels. This chapel is a good specimen of thirteenth 
century work ; the vaulting is carried on two piers, with eight attached 
columns or shafts to each. 

The two apses on the north side were rebuilt by M. Ruprich Robert 
on the old foundations, and, under the chapel above mentioned have been 
found the traces of two similar apses on the south side, determining the 
original plan of the east end of the church. M. Robert believes that 
these four apses and the crypt only were built in Matilda's time, and 


that no central choir and apse was erected till the end of the eleventh 

Externally the west front is flanked by two towers; entrance to the 
church is obtained through three doorways; the two under the towers 
have circular headed arches of one order, and a tympanum decorated with 
diaper; the central doorway has circular headed arches of three orders: 
and the tympanum is decorated with sculpture and supported by a 
central pier. Over this doorway is an arcade of three arches pierced with 
windows; and above an arcade of four arches, the two centre ones only 
carried on columns and pierced, the two side ones being decorative only 
with the tympanum decorated with diaper. The gable above this has a 
single circular headed opening, and its whole surface is decorated with 
diaj^er. The stories of the towers do not correspond with those in the 
central bay of the facade, being loftier; over the doorway in each case is 
a small circular headed window, above on each face three blank arcades 
carried on coupled columns ; over this and above the level of the nave-roof 
the tower is decorated on each face with an arcade of six arches carried 
on columns, windows being pierced in two of them only. The upper 
portions of these towers were destroyed, as has already been noted, in 
the thirteenth century. At present they are surmounted by a Renais- 
sance balustrade and corbels. It is purposed (1872) to restore this part 
of the tower, to add an additional story with two circular headed 
windows, and spires in the style of the thirteenth century. At the 
south-east end of the south tower is a circular staircase, wdiich now 
rises to the height it is intended to carry the towers — this also will have 
a conical spire. 

The side-aisle walls are extremely simple, they have the original 
circular headed windows I have spoken of; new buttresses have been 
added to assist in the support of the nave- vault, whose thrust is trans- 
mitted across the aisles by flying-buttresses ; the clerestory {Plate X VII.) 
has flat buttresses, a corbel table, and in each division, corresponding 
with the bays of the nave, a large window with semicircular arches of 
two orders, and blank sub-arches on each side. The Norman work of 
the central tower shows itself in the arcade carried round and partially 


cut into by the nave-roof; above is the thirteenth century story before 
alhided to, the whole being crowned by a fifteenth century bakistrade, 
and an octagonal slate roof. It is proposed to remove this balustrade 
and erect a loftier slate roof with corresponding corner pinnacles. Very 
little of the transept is visible in consequence of the modern abbey build- 
ings, but the arcading of the nave clerestory is carried round. The apse 
has similar arcading in two stories corresponding to the interior, with 
windows in each bay : all this part is inclosed in the abbey buildings. 

The following is a summary of the restoration carried out since 1857, 
under M. Ruprich Robert: — 

Entire reconstruction (copied from the old work) of the western 
facade between the two towers. 

The aisle- walls have had new buttresses and corbel -tables with 
cornice added. 

The nave-piers have been rebuilt up to the capitals of the nave- 
arches, the vaults of the nave have been reconstructed with light stone 
ribs and hollow brick webs. 

In the south transept the insertions under Louis XIV. have been 
removed, and the original features, such as windows and vaulting shafts, 
string-courses, &c., established in their place. The mullions of the 
windows of the Gothic chapel are new. 

In the south transept all the decorative features had been destroyed ; 
these have all been restored, and the two apsidal chapels rebuilt. A 
restored view of the abbey is given in M. Ruprich Robert's work, to 
which the reader is referred for further information.] 



This edifice is situated in the district of Bourg-l'abbe, so called from 
belonging to the abbey of St. Stephen, in the same town. [It is com- 


monly cited as a dated example, built iii 1083, but Mr. Parker has 
sliown^ " that this date, like many others, must be received with caution, 
and requires explanation. The only historical evidence for it is that 
of a charter in which Duke William grants to the abbey of St. Stephen 
a certain piece of waste land outside the walls of Caen, and near to that 
abbey. This district was then formed into a parish, and the church of 
St. Nicholas built by the monks of St. SteiDhen's upon it. All that the 
historical evidence proves, therefore, is that no part of the church can be 
earlier than that date; but how long it was building, or when it was 
consecrated, we have no evidence. The district granted was so extensive 
that within it were already two small parishes with churches, which had 
previously been given to the abbey of the Holy Trinity. This led to a 
lawsuit, in which it was ultimately decided that the parishes belonging 
to the nuns were confined to the houses built previous to the grant, but 
all the rest belonged to the monks. In after times this led to much con- 
fusion when the houses were rebuilt and new ones erected, but it proves 
that there was no parish of St. Nicholas before that time, or the bound- 
aries of it would have been known. The early capitals in the church of 
St. Nicholas are of the same character as those in St. Stephen's of the 
second period, as in the western towers the resemblance is so close that 
they may reasonably be supposed to be the work of the same hands, and 
they are excellent examples of that rude Ionic before mentioned as one 
of the characteristic features of the last quarter of the eleventh century."] 
The general form of this church is that of the Latin cross, divided into 
a nave and choir, and having, at the intersection of these with the tran- 
sept, a low tower, surmounted by a gabled roof The most remarkable 
part of the edifice is the semi-circular apse which terminates the choir, 
resembling that of the church of the Holy Trinity, but covered by a 
conical roof, rising higher than the other parts of the church. Mr. Turner 
says, "The height of this roof is so much greater than in the choir, as 
almost to justify the suspicion that it was no part of the original plan, 
but was an addition of a subsequent, though certainly not of a remote, 
era. Were the line of it continued to the central tower, it would wholly 

[1 In a paper read before the Eoyal Institute of British Architects, before referred to.] 


block up and conceal the windows there. The discrepancy observable in 
the style of its architecture may also possibly be regarded as enforcing 
the same opinion."^ 

[Mr. Fergiisson {Hist. Arch.) remarks: "It is the only church so far 
as I know in Normandy that retains the original external covering of its 
apse. This consists of a high pyramidal roof of stone, following to the 
eastward the polygonal form of the apse, and extending one bay towards 
the west" (as shown in Plate XIX. of this book). "From an examination 
of the central tower it is clear that this was not the original pitch of the 
church roof, wdiich was nearly as low in all Norman churches as in those 
of Auvergne. In this instance the roof over the apse was a sort of semi- 
spire placed over an altar to mark externally the importance of the 
portion of the church beneath it." M. de Caumont also writes that 
" having examined the church, he noticed on the gable which terminates 
the nave the traces of the old roof, which was much less elevated than 
the present conical termination; and this observation aiDplies equally to 
the stone covering of the apsidal chapels on the east elevation of the two 

The upper portion of the western tower, which is corbelled out and 
has a saddle-back roof, is an addition of the fifteenth century.] The 
engravings {Plates X VIII. and XIX) represent a ground plan of the 
semi-circular or apsidal end of the church ; also an elevation of part of 
the exterior of the same, two sections, and capitals and bases. 


The village of Thaon, in which is the fragment of a church delineated 
in the three Plates XX.— XXII., is situated about ten miles north-east 
of Caen. As a specimen of genuine Norman architecture, this building 

1 Archikduml Antiquities of Normandy, vol. ii. p. 60. 


cannot fail to engage the attention of the antiquary. It consists of a 
nave and choir, divided by a central tower which rises through the roof 
of the church, with two stories, the lower one partially concealed by the 
nave and choir roofs. From the engraved plans, elevations, sections, and 
details, the reader will be able to understand the whole characteristic 
features of this building. It will be seen that the walls, to the west of 
the tower between columns, are additions to the original design, as it 
may be inferred that the arches on each side were formerly open to 
aisles. Mr. Cotman intimates that there was only a south aisle ; but the 
accompanying plan shows that there are columns and arches on both 
sides. Externally these arches are plain, and without any ornaments or 
mouldings;^ while internally they are adorned with three rows of zigzag, 
or chevron (see Plate XXI. No. 3.) In the interior the clerestory 
window is bounded by a string-moulding, which forms a hood to the 
arch, and extends round the whole church. The exterior of the western 
and eastern ends are shown at Nos. 1 and 2 on the same Plates, as well 
as the section of the walls and some of the details, more at large. The 
flat buttresses, arcades without columns, the small windows, also without 
columns or ornamental dressings — are all evidences of a simple and 
systematic style of architecture ; and the experienced antiquary will not 
fail to perceive an analogy between the east end and the chancel of 
Barfreston Church, in Kent." In both these edifices early pointed or 
lancet windows are introduced. There will also be found a coincidence 
in the nave of this church and that of St. Peter's at Northampton; par- 
ticularly in the range of arcades and small windows to the clerestory, as 
well as in the block cornice, or corbel-table. These two English churches 
were raised, we have every reason to believe, soon after the Norman 
colonization of Britain. In Plate XXII., the design, construction, and 
architectural character of the tower are clearly elucidated. The con- 

^ " On the corbels are not only represented grotesque heads, but some of the simplest heraldic 
• charges — as the chief, chief indented, pale, bend, bendlets, und}', fess, saltier, crosses of various kinds, 
chevron, &c. Such ordinaries occasionally occur in similar situations on other Norman religious edifices, 
but only on the most ancient." — ArcJdtechiral Antiquities of Normandy, vol. ii. p. 16. 

- See Architectural Antiquities of Gi'eat Britain, for engravings and accounts of this building and of 
that at Northampton. 


struction of its roof or pyramid will not escape the notice of the English 
antiquary, who will also examine the projecting heads at the angles of 
the roof, called crockets in Mr. Cotman's work. 



[This church belongs in its origin (according to De Caumont) to the 
Norman style of the twelfth century. The nave measures 69 feet long 
by 17 feet 9 inches wide. On the south wall are traces of two Norman 
arches with their voussoirs decorated with zigzags, which indicate (as 
well as the toothing left in the Avest fagacle wall) the former existence of 
a south aisle. It is not certain, however, whether this was ever built, 
though in a small chapel to the west of the tower is a piscina of suffi- 
ciently early date to warrant the supposition that the south wall of this 
chapel was the original aisle-wall. Externally also the masonry of the 
chapel bonds in with the Norman work of the tower. The archway open- 
ing to this chapel from the nave is fifteenth century, and has probably 
taken the place of a third Norman aisle arch. The choir, rebuilt in the 
thirteenth century, is 45 feet long by 20 feet wide, and at the west end 
of it are remains on either side of two transition doorways. The elegant 
tower, illustrated in Plate XXIII., shows us an interesting and well- 
preserved specimen of Norman work, though various changes have con- 
siderably modified the primitive condition of the church to which it is 
attached. The tower is composed of three stories surmounted by a spire, 
whose stones are carved in imitation of shingles. On the west side is a 
doorway (fig. 3, Plate XXIII) decorated with zigzags, and a bas-relief 
in the tympanum representing, according to the legend, the patron saint 
(St. Loup) subduing the dragon which devastated the country. This 
tower is placed at the south-east end of the nave, and on the opposite 
side of the latter is a fifteenth century chapel, 21 feet square.] 






Among the architectural antiquities of the famous city of Bayeux/ 
its cathedral is not only a prominent but a most important object. 
Occupying a sacred spot, which appears to have been dedicated to 
Christianity as early as the third century, it exhibits various styles and 
peculiarities of Norman and pointed architecture. [The history of the 
cathedral is as follows : — After the destruction of the building erected by 
Hollo, Bishop Hugues in the commencement of tho eleventh century 
began a new church, dying, however, before it was completed. Odo, who 
succeeded him in 1050, continued the work, making considerable aug- 
mentations, and it was finished and dedicated in 1077, King William I. 
of England and his queen being present.] At the time of its dedication 
Odo enriched the church with various gifts, one of which was of peculiar 
value and splendour. This was a sort of chandelier, in the shape of a 
crown, composed of wood and copper, and covered with silver plates. It 
measured 16 feet in height by 38 feet in diameter; — was diversified with 
ornaments in the shape of crowns or towers, and was intended to hold 
" an immense number of tapers," or candles, wliich were lighted on high 
festivals. It was suspended from the roof in the nave, opposite the 
great crucifix, and is said to have continued there till 1562, when the 
Huguenots committed havoc in the church. If, however, the building 
was destroyed in the time of Henry I., it is not likely that this 
sumptuous ornament was saved. [In 1106 the cathedral was burned 
by the soldiers of Henry I. of England. On the termination of the war 
in 1107, it was restored by Henry, and remained in this state until 1159, 

1 The history of this city is intimately connected with that of England. It was here that Duke 
William, on being nominated by Edward the Confessor his successor to the English crown, caused 
Harold to attend and do him homage in the name of the nation. Here, also, Henry I. was detained 
prisoner by his eldest brother; in revenge for which, on coming to the throne, he laid siege to the city 
and burned it. (See Archmologia, vol. xvii. p. 911.) Again, Edward IH. attacked and nearly destroyed 
Bayeus in 1356. Henry VI. brought from this city a large collection of Norman charters, which are 
now preserved in the Tower of London. The Biujcux Tapestry is a relic of great importance as an 
historical document. 


when it was again burnt. To these two constructions of Odo and 
Henry I. may be attributed all that is Norman in the cathedral, viz. 
the nave arcades, the towers of the west front up to the base of the 
spires, and the lower portion of the central tower. (It is possible that 
the crypt, with its Koman groined vault and classic capitals, belong- 
to the early construction of Bishop Hugues. The capitals certainly 
resemble more their classic prototypes than those of the crypt of the 
Abbaye aux Dames, which date from 1064).^ The level of the pavement 
of the ancient church was about 4 feet below the present one, the choir 
being raised 3 feet above the nave. After the fire of 1159, Philippe de 
Harcourt, Bishop of Bayeux (1142-1164), strenuously set to worlv on 
the reconstruction of the present cathedral; and his successor, Henry 
of Salisbury (1165-1205), continued the works, which were terminated 
by Robert des Ableges (1205-1231). 

Between 1161 and 1231 were built the upper part of the nave with 
the side aisles (excepting the side chapels), the whole of the choir wdth 
its radiating chapels (including the lady chapel), and the sacristy of two 
stories. To the same period belongs also the masonry, which enveloj)ed 
the nave-jDiers as well as the delicate capitals surmounting them, and 
the Norman sculptured arches. In fact, the surface decoration on the 
stone of the tympana and archivolts differs essentially from the older 
work. The stones have not been touched since they were first laid, but 
the parts added have been made to agree, and now present similarity of 
workmanship wuth that of the side aisles in the Gothic style. The 
mouldings of the circular-headed arches are the same as those of the 
pointed arches which cover the side aisles of the nave. The sculpture of 
the capitals also shows remarkable coincidences in the form, finish, and 
execution of its work with that of the rest of the construction. 

The chapter- house, some of the chapels to the south of the nave, and 
perhaps also the north transept, are the work of the end of the thirteenth 
century. At the same time the north tower of the west front was 
strengthened by additions and restorations in the pointed style, in order 
to render it capable of carrying the spire with which it was terminated. 

1 [See PlaUs III. IV. and A'A'A'/.-A-A'A7r.] 


These constructions mask the external Norman work up to one-third of 
its height. 

In the fourteenth centviry the other chapels of the nave wei^e erected, 
the south tower spire, the south transept, and the masonry enveloping 
the piers of the transept. This latter work was executed not only to 
modify the Norman parts of the church, whose simplicity clashed with 
the luxury of the later additions, but also to give to those piers that 
extra strength necessary to support the weight of a central tower more 
important than that Avhich then existed. The ancient i3iers of Odo's 
church became, therefore, the newels of the new piers, and it seems, from 
excavations lately made, that the foundations of the parts added were 
laid on the debris filled up round the old piers, and without going down 
to the foundations of these latter on terra firmd. At this period were 
rebuilt all the lower arcades near these central piers, excepting those on 
the side of the choir. The great Norman arcades also of the central 
tower, too low in comparison with the rest of the new work, were 
replaced by others of pointed form, cut out in the wall of the Norman 
tower, and with their springing 13 feet above that of the Norman arches. 
Toward the end of the fourteenth century, the interior of the church 
was, generally, in the same condition as previous to the restoration 
in 1855; in succeeding ages slight modifications had been made, such 
as restorations caused by the discovery of the ancient cryjDt in 1512, 
and alterations in the windows of the nave-chapels. In tlie fifteenth 
century (1425-27) the central tower, for which the piers had been 
strengthened, was erected by Monsignor Hubert ; and fifty years after- 
wards the beautiful octagonal lantern which now exists was erected by 
Louis de Harcourt, Bishop of Bayeux, at a cost of £4092, 12^. Qd. Louis 
de Harcourt seems to have had some fear for the stability of the edifice, 
from the fact of his taking care to state that he should not feel himself 
responsible if the tower fell down, in consequence of the additional 
weight piled upon it: — "Ne si (quod Deus avertat) ex hac dicta supersedi- 
ficatione aliquid ruinse in j)osterum contingeret sibi et suae huic devotioni 
quoquomodo valeat imputari." 

This octagonal lantern was crowned with a cupola of wood framing 


and lead, which was destroyed by fire in 1676; and in 1714, a new 
cupoUi in stone, crowned by a small lantern with Roman Doric columns, 
was erected by the architect Moussard: excepting in detail, it accorded 
very fairly with the rest of the work. 

These subsequent additions, however, very nearly led to the total 
ruin of the central tower. As far back as the fifteenth century, and 
prior to Louis de Harcourt's erection, great cracks had become visible in 
the four central and side piers, and in 1714, Moussard had deemed it 
expedient to modify his original design (his lantern was to have been 
17 feet higher) in order not to increase them. Many attempts were 
made to persuade the existing government of France to undertake the 
restoration of the tower, but in vain, until by command of the Emperor 
Napoleon III., M. Flachat (from whose work we have abridged this 
description) was instructed to report upon the state of the cathedral. 
For a description of the restoration, which was commenced towards 
the close of 1855, we must refer the reader to his work^ (published in 
conjunction with M. Dion), which contains the most complete account 
of the extraordinary means it was found requisite to adopt, in order 
to support the central tower (weighing upwards of 4000 tons) whilst the 
ruinous piers were being removed and rebuilt. 

The works were completed in 1863, costing upwards of £15,000, 
which was defrayed chiefly by the emperor, out of his civil list. The 
only difl'erence in the appearance of the work now completed lies 
in the cupola, which has been built in a style more in accordance 
with the tower beneath it ; Moussard's cupola having been pulled down 
in 1855.] 

Flate XXIV. is a valuable ground plan of the church, with its series 
of chapels, &c.; the dimensions of which in French feet are thus stated 
by Beziers: — Height of the central tower, 224 feet; of the two western 
ditto, 230 feet; leng-th of the interior of the church, 296 feet; width of 
ditto, 76 feet; height of ditto, 7Q feet; length of the nave, 140 feet; width 
of the nave, 38 feet; ditto of side aisles, 17 feet; ditto of chapels, 15 feet; 
length of the transepts, 113 feet; width of ditto, 33 feet; length of the 

P Dion (A. de Laurent) and Flachat (E.), Cathedral de Bayeux, 1861, Paris, 4to.] 


choir, 118 feet; width of ditto, 36 feet. Its measurements in English 
feet may be ascertained by the scale on the engraved plan. 

The elevation of the west front {Plate XXV, XXVI.) shows an 
interesting portion of the edifice. The lower part of the front is occupied 
by a screen, divided into five compartments, with pointed arches. The 
several orders of the arches, and the inclosed tympana, are richly 
decorated with historical sculpture. 

In the two exterior compartments the arches are unpierced, and are 
flanked by a profusion of clustered columns: over each of the four lateral 
arches are gables, crocheted, the tympana of which are pierced by a 
variety of quatrefoils, trefoils, and other ornaments, within circular 
mouldings. Above the central arch is a flat balustrade of quatrefoils, 
behind which rises a large pointed window, of very rich tracery. Over 
this window is a row of statues of saints, placed in niches, and arranged 
in pairs, with a highly-pointed gable above each pair. [The two 
flanking towers are bold and massive, the casing of the lower portion 
adding considerably to this efl'ect; the circular windows or openings ol 
the original towers are still visible here and there, and the upper story 
retains its Norman features, the three circular-headed windows which 
are of great beauty of proportion and detail.] The towers have fine corbel 
tables and are surmounted by spires of very ancient date, at the bases 
of which spring j)innacles of corresj)onding design. 

The exterior of the nave presents a specimen of the ornamented 
pointed style, whilst the pointed architecture of the choir is elegant 
and simple. An elevation of the exterior of one of the compartments 
of the choir shown on Plate XXXIII, XXXIV, will convey a clear idea 
of the execution of the whole design: but even in this part there is a 
want of uniformity; some of the windows are deeply imbedded in the 
walls, whilst others are nearly on a level with the surface. The southern 
portal is bold and appropriate, though not in the purest style. On each side 
of the doorway were originally three statues, whose tabernacles remain, 
though the saints have been unniched. Over the door is a bas-relief, con- 
taining numerous figures, disposed in three compartments, and represent- 
ing some legendary tale or events, which it is not very easy to decipher. 


The interior of the church consists of a nave, lateral aisles, and a 
transept, and a choir, with aisles and chapels. The six piers of the nave 
are massive, with clustered shafts. The arches above them are semi- 
circular, of four orders, the outer one enriched with the chevron moulding, 
diamonds, etc.; and examples occur of the square embattled, the lozenge, 
with acorns, the lotus, and leaves occupying the triangular interstices, 
and with other ornaments. On one of them is a curious border of heads 
with beards, and some with elongated and upright ears, and some with 
crowns. These and other specimens of the decorative mouldings are 
shown in Plate XXX. The wall above the arches is adorned with a 
species of tessellated work cut in the stone, of varied patterns, some 
interwoven, others reticulated : the lines indented in the stones, as well 
as the joints which form the patterns, are filled with a black cement, 
or mastic, so as to form a kind of niello. This may be seen in the Plate 
just referred to ; where also the capitals of the pillars are shown to be 
an imitation of classic examples. 

In the nave there is no triforium, but above the richly-decorated 
string-course or cornice of the lower story runs a light gallery, below the 
windows of the clerestory: the facade of this gallery consists of a range 
of trefoil-headed arches, with trefoils in the spandrils, and immediately 
below the corona, as well as under the cornice beneath, is a range of 
quatrefoils, as may be seen in Plates XXVIII, XXIX. and XXX. 
The windows of the clerestory are, in the opinion of Mr. Turner, the 
loftiest ever seen in a similar situation. The very tall arches that 
support the central tower are likewise pointed; as are those of the 
transept, the choir, the side-aisles, and the chajDels. Of the choir, an 
elevation of the exterior and interior of one of the compartments may 
be seen in Plate XXXIII, XXXIV., and a transverse section in 
Plate XXXI, XXXII. The capitals of the columns supporting the 
pointed arches bear some resemblance to those of the Norman pillars; 
and the spandrils are adorned with circular ornaments, having a 
resemblance to small rose-windows with their tracery. Some are merely 
in bas-relief; in others the central circles are deeply perforated, whilst 
the ribs are composed of delicate tracery. The triforium consists of a 


series of pointed arches, each inclosing a smaller pair under a larger 
one occupying the whole width of the lower arch: the clustered pillars 
have capitals, and the angles between the arches are occupied by trefoils, 
circles, and other delicate ornaments. The spandrils of the arches are 
relieved by circles with sculptured figures. Each of the three stories is 
separated from one another by a string-course of foliage, of very elegant 
design and execution. The stalls of the choir are beautifully executed in 
oak, and beneath them are misereres, variously carved. Upon the roof 
of the choir are still to be seen the portraits of the first twenty-one 
bishops of Bayeux, each with his name. The walls of the chapels of the 
choir were covered with large fresco paintings, now nearly obliterated. 
Indeed, the whole of the cathedral at one time displayed a profusion of 
works of ai-t. 

Beneath the choir is a subterraneous chapel, or crypt, dedicated to St. 
Manvieu, of a similar character to that of the Holy Trinity at Caen. 
The walls are covered with paintings, probably of the fifteenth century; 
but those upon the springing of the arches above the pillars appear to be 
considerably older. Over the only window that gives light to this crypt, 
is preserved an inscription to the memory of Bishop de Boissy. 

The canons of this place once possessed the celebrated piece of needle- 
work, now known as the Bayeux Tajpestry, but heretofore as the " Toile de 
St. Jean." Since the time it was unrolled and publicly exhibited^ by 
Bonaparte, it has been kept at the hotel of the prefecture. This inter- 
esting tapestry, the work of Queen Matilda, has been amply illustrated 
in the Archceologia, and Vetitsta Monumenta, of the Society of Anti- 
quaries. [A very careful and elaborate series of photographs, coloured 
after the original, has since been made; it was exhibited in the Interna- 
tional Exhibition at South Kensington, and belongs to the department 
of Science and Art.] 

[' The Tapestry was publicly exhibited throughout tlie large provincial towns of France, in order 
to incite the people to war with England.] 




St. Regnobert, who preached the gospel to the Saxons iu the seventh 
century, is supposed to have been the original founder of a church on the 
site of the present one dedicated to St. Peter.-^ The present edifice is the 
work of various ages. The choir and a part of the nave were erected 
very late in the thirteenth -century; and the remainder of the nave and 
the bell-tower were built in 1308. Mr. Turner says, that "the tower 
and spire were built in the year 1308, under the direction of Nicolle 
VAnglois, a burgher of Caen, and treasurer of the church." Ducarel 
asserts, from the name, that he was a native of England. The portal 
under the tower, which is of the date of 1384,^ was restored and orna- 
mented with statues in 1608; and it has undergone some alterations in 
modern times, not at all to the improvement of the original work. Here 
were to be seen many bas-reliefs, representing memorable events in the 
history of St. Peter, which, says De la Rue, were defaced by the Vandals 
of 1793.'^ 

The north aisle of the nave was erected in 1410, and the south aisle 
some years afterwards. The apse of the choir, and the vaulted roof of 
the choir and of its aisles, were executed by Hector Sohier, architect of 
Caen, in 1521.* 

The elevation, section, and plans of the tower and spire, Plate 
XXXV, XXXVI., will furnish every information as to the design, 
style, and architectural features of this portion of the building. The 
doorway is finished by a lofty gable of the altitude of half of the second 
story, and is pierced by three windows, and has two niches, under an 
arch moulding. Over it, and in the tympanum of the gable, is another 
niche, of plain workmanship. The remainder of the second story is 
relieved by a series of blank arcades with gable ends, their tympanums 

^ De la Eue, Essais, &c., tome i. p. 95. 

- In a record of tlie year 1384, the great entrance is called the " Poriail Neuf." lb. p. 96. 

^ Ut supra. 

* Huet, Orig. de Caen, p. 193. 


being occupied by trefoils. A string-course of quatrefoil in panel divides 
it from the next story, which consists of lancet-arches, some glazed and 
others blank, of very elaborate workmanship. This is crowned by an 
open parapet of quatrefoil, which is adorned at each angle and in the 
centre with pinnacles, having niches for statues, &c. The spire, which is 
very lofty, is pierced by trefoils, quatrefoils, and other similar openings, 
distributed in alternate compartments, the intermediate spaces being 
occupied by broad bands of several rows of the dog-tooth ornament. 
On this tower and spire Mr. Turner remarks (vol. ii. p. 178): — "The 
elevation is hardly inferior to that of the spire of Salisbury Cathedral.' 
Elegance, lightness, and symmetry are the general characters of the 
whole, though the spire has peculiar characters of its own." 

A wooden door from this church is shown in Plate LXIX. No. 2. It 
is very plain, and. divided horizontally into two compartments, distributed 
into panels with trefoil-headed arches, within ogee arches crocketed. 
Those of the upper compartment are gabled, and the whole of the 
panels are separated by plain buttresses, terminated by pinnacles. 



[This building, better known under the name of the "Salle des 
Gardes," is attached to the Ecole Normale, Caen, and is at present used 
as a gymnasium. It dates from the early part of the fourteenth century, 

^ This opinion may be adduced as one of the instances of the erroneous inferences we are liable 
to in judging of the relative heights of objects, without taking jjains to form something like a scale. By 
the figured measures on the engraving it will be seen that the whole altitude of the tower and spire of 
St. Peter's is only 242 English feet, whereas that of Salisbury is 404 feet from the floor. Of the com- 
jjarative beauty in proportions of the two towers and spires, I must differ in opinion from my esteemed 
friend; he giving the preference to St. Peter's, I to that of Salisburj'. In the former the spire is too 
large and lieavj'. It should be remarked, that the tower of St. Peter's is seen to rise immediately 
from the ground — whereas that of Salisbury is only seen above the roof of the church. [Salisbury tower 
(upper portion only), and spire were erected in 1331. — Hickman.^ 


and formed part of the ancient " Abbaye aux Hommes." The ground floor 
is vaulted, the vault being carried by two rows of columns : this portion 
is now divided up by a series of walls. The upper part, used as the 
gymnasium, is a magnificent hall 104 ft. long by 31 ft. wide, and 26 ft. 
6 in. up to the tie-beams of the roof. The floor was at one time decorated 
with glazed tiles, many of which are still preserved in the Antiquaries' 
Museum and the Town Library. This hall is now ceiled at the level of 
the tie-beams, the space in the roof being used as a granary. Traces of 
painted decoration of the fourteenth century are still visible in the roof. 
Small staircases at the four angles of the building formerly led to the 
roof for repairs or in case of fire, and a fine staircase to the north-east of 
the building is supposed by M. Bouet to have led to the main floor of the 
hall. A restoration of this staircase (exterior perspective only) is given 
in the Institute Transactions, illustrating Mr. Parker's paper, read Jan. 26, 
1863, and the same woodcut is also to be found in M. Bouet's work on 
the abbey.^ M. Bouet remarks'- that he has restored the roofs of the 
four turrets in stone, as in Pugin's plate, but that he believes they 
were originally in wood; at all events they were destroyed in 1684-] 



Among the numerous specimens of splendid ecclesiastical architecture 
in Normandy and other parts of France, the Church of St. Ouen ranks 
pre-eminent. From its richness of decoration, its exuberance of fancy, 
and its elaborate execution, it cannot fail to attract the attention and 
admiration of all travellers, and must prove peculiarly interesting 
to the architectural antiquary. Although the accompanying Plates 
{XXXVIII.—XLIII.) do not constitute a complete illustration of the 
church, they will serve to show its prevailing features, and furnish the 

[1 Analyse architechirale de I'Ahhaye de Saint Eiienne de Caen, p. 98. ^ p_ 99,] 


artist with materials for practical purposes or historical inference. The 
foundation of the present building was laid in 1318 by the Abbot Jean 
Roussel, better know^n by the name of Marc d'argent, by whom it was 
advanced as far as the transept; the remainder was the work of 
subsequent periods, and the building was continued to the beginning 
of the sixteenth century; — it is not even now completed. [According to 
Mr. Fergusson {Hist. Arch.) the w'ork of building "was carried on unin- 
terruptedly for twenty-one years by Marc d'argent. At his death the 
choir and transepts were completed, or very nearly so. The English 
wars interrupted at this time the progress of this, as of many other 
buildings; and the works of the nave were not seemingly resumed till 
about 1490, and twenty-five years later the beautiful west front was 
commenced." Mr. Fergusson goes on to say, "Except that of Limoges, 
the choir is almost the most perfect building of its age; and being 
contemjDorary with the choir at Cologne (1276-1321), affords a means 
of comparison between the two styles of Germany and France at that 
age, and entirely to the advantage of the French example, which, though 
very much smaller, avoids all the moi-e glaring faults of the other. 

Nothing indeed can exceed the beauty of proportion of this most 
elegant church; and except that it wants the depth and earnestness 
of the earlier examples, it may be considered as the most beautiful thing 
of its kind in Europe. The j)roportion too of the nave, transepts, and 
choir to one another is remarkably happy, and a most striking contrast 
to the very imperfect proportions of Cologne. Its three towers, also, 
would have formed a perfect group as originally designed; but the 
central one was not completed till so late that its details have lost the 
aspiring character of the building on which it stands, and the western 
spires, as rebuilt within the last ten years, are incongruous and inappro- 
priate; Avhereas had the original design been carried out according to 
the drawings which still exist,^ it would have been one of the most 
beautiful fagades known anywhere. The diagonal position of the towers 

\} The west front was terminated (1846-52) by the addition of two flanking steeples, surmounting 
three deep-set portals, but effecting a change from the original design, which is preserved in the Town 
Library. — {Murray) . ] 


met most happily the difficulty of giving breadth to the facade, without 
placing them beyond the line of the aisles, as is done in the cathedral 
of Kouen, and at the same time gave a variety to the perspective which 
must have had the most pleasing effect. Had the idea occurred earlier, 
few western towers would have been placed otherwise ; but the invention 
came too late, and in modern times the very traces of the arrangement 
have been obliterated."] 

The ground plan {Plate XXX VIII.) gives an idea of the extent and 
dimensions of the church;^ and the view of the nave, looking east {Plate 
XXXIX.) shows the impressive perspective of the interior. The arches of 
the interior are of great height and fine proportions, and its entire aspect 
is excessively light and lofty; the mouldings of the arches are shallow, 
and the building seems all window. The lightness of effect is consider- 
ably aided by the clerestory gallery opening to the glazed tracery of the 
windows, behind, the mullions of the one corresponding wdth those of the 
other. To each of the clustered columns of the nave are attached two 
tabernacles, consisting of canopies and pedestals, for the reception of 
statues of saints. These are shown in the interior view, and also in 
the elevation and section of one of the compartments of the nave. 
Plate XL. The pillars of the choir do not appear to have been similarly 
ornamented; but upon one of them, serving as a corbel to a truncated 
column, is a head of our Saviour, and on the opposite pillar, another of 
the Virgin ; the former exhibiting a remarkably tine antique character. 

The capitals of the pillars in the choir were formerly gilt, and the 
spandrils of the arches painted with angels — now nearly effaced. Round 
the choir, as shown in the plan, is a series of chapels, or oratories, 
the walls of which have been covered with fresco paintings of figures and 
foliage. In the chapel of St. Agnes is an inscribed stone commemorating 
the melancholy death of Alexander Berneval, the master mason of the 
building, who, it is traditionally said, murdered his apprentice from 
jealousy, he having executed the very splendid circular window in the 

* The following are the dimensions of the interior in French feet, as given in Mr. Turner's Tour: — 
Length of the church, 41 G ft.; ditto, nave, 234 ft.; ditto, choir, 108 ft.; ditto, lady chapel, 66 ft.; ditto, 
transept, 130 ft.; width of ditto, 34 ft.; ditto, uave without the aisles, 34 ft.; ditto, including aisles, 78 ft.; 
height of roof, 100 ft.; ditto, of tower, 240 ft. 


northern transej^t, which is generally allowed to be superior to that on 
the southern side, which was the workmanship of the envious master. 
This window exhibits in its tracery the produced pentagon, or combina- 
tion of triangles, called the pentalpha. These large circular windows, 
sometimes known by the name of rose or marigold windows, are 
beautiful characteristic features of French ecclesiastical architecture. 
In this church, besides those in the transepts, there is a very fine 
specimen in the great west window, which is fully delineated in Plates 

The flying-buttresses end in richly crocketed pinnacles, supported by 
shafts of unusual height; one of them is shown in Plate XL. with the 
section of a compai'tment of the nave. The triple tiers of windows seem 
to have occupied nearly all the wall work of the building. Balustrades 
of various quatrefoils run round the aisles and body. The centre 
tower, which is wholly composed of open arches and tracery, terminates, 
like the south tower of Rouen Cathedral, with an octangular crown of fleurs- 
de-lis. The elegance of the south porch and transept is unrivalled. This 
portion of the church was always finished with care: it was the scene 
of many religious ceremonies, particularly of esj)ousals. The bold and 
lofty entrance of this porch is surrounded within by pendent trefoil 
arches, springing from carved bosses, and forming an open festoon of 
tracery. The vaulting within is ribbed, and ornamented with richly 
carved pendants, and the portal, which it shades, is covered with a 
profusion of sculpture: the death, entombment, and apotheosis of the 
Virgin, form the principal groups. Mr. Turner considers them, both in 
design and execution, far superior to any sj)ecimens of the corresponding 
era in England. On the same side of the church is an interesting door- 
way, a representation of which is given in Plate XLI. It exhibits an 
arch of late flamboyant form, richly crocketed, and terminating in a finial 
of very beautiful design, and a pointed arch similarly ornamented with 
crockets, and the mouldings decorated by a continued range of vine 
leaves, which descends some way down the jambs. 

Several specimens of painted glass from this church are engraved 
{Plates LXXVII. LXXVIII.), to show the design. It is a singular but 


a happy circumstance, that the church preserves the whole of its original 
glazing. Each intermullion contains one whole-length figure, represented 
upon a diapered ground, good in design, though the artist seems to have 
avoided the employment of brilliant hues. The sober light harmonizes 
with the gray, unsullied stone work, and gives a most pleasing unity 
of tint to the receding arches. 



[The most remarkable part of this church is the western porch, of 
which we give illustrations in Plates XLIV. and XLV. The centre 
and side archwaj^s, which are unusually lofty in proportion to their 
width, have a few simple mouldings, with foliage and a crocketed ogee 
label. The intrados of the arch is richly decorated with trefoiled cusps, 
which extend some 5 feet below the springing. This archway is flanked 
by buttresses richly adorned with niches, and canopies surmounted by 
elaborate crocketed pinnacles. The plan of the porch is very curious, 
reminding us somewhat of that at Ratisbon Cathedral, except that 
here there are three archways instead of two only, as in the latter 
example. The two side archways are placed at an obtuse angle with the 
central one, so as to form, as it were, a more easy access to those who 
approached it from the north or south: the porch of St. Maclou has a 
somewhat similar arrangement. The outer order of the doorway to the 
church is decorated with a series of seated statues with canopies over 
them, and the tympanum is filled with a bas-relief, somewhat mutilated, 
and apparently representing the last judgment. Much of the rest of 
the church is posterior to the sixteenth century. The east end is now 
undergoing restoration; a new chapel and a '-sacristie" being added. 
The church contains much fine glass.] 




[This convent was founded in 1481 by Jean d'Estonville, and dedicated 
to the Holy Virgin and St. John Baptist. Its architecture, with the 
excej)tion of the entrance doorway (an illustration of which we give in 
Plate XL VI), is not of any great note; the form of arch, however, is 
interesting from the contrast it presents to our four-centred arch of 
English work of the same period, or a little later ; the crown of the arch, 
it will be observed, is segmental and struck from one centre instead 
of two as in England ; a four-centred arch is very rare in France, and in 
fact it frequently happens, when a relieving arch is formed over the door- 
way, as in this instance, that the crown of the lower arch is horizontal, 
with voussoirs radiating to a centre; the extreme ends on either side 
being semicircular. The tomb of the founder, who died in 1484, lies in 
the centre of the church.] 



This fountain, so called from its proximity to a house where formerly 
hung as a sign the crosier belonging to the monks of Notre Dame de I'lle 
Dieu, is situated in the Rue de THopital.^ It is an interesting specimen 
of the architecture of the fifteenth century. Its general design may be 
understood by referring to Plate XLVIL, which shows a plan, an 
elevation, and details. The fountain projects from a wall like a bow- 
window, and its sides are richly decorated with niches surmounted by 
rich canopies of fanciful tracery. The fountain has a concave pyramidal 

' Rouen is noted for the number of its fountains, there being not less than thirty for the use of the 
public, supplied with water from five different springs, and conveyed into the city by canals. 


cover ill stone, which in Millin's time was surmounted by a royal 
crown. [The fountain has been restored, or rather rebuilt, within the 
last ten years.] 



This fountain stands at the junction of three streets, in the Carrefour 
St. Vivienne, which, previous to the reign of St. Louis, were without the 
walls of the city. [It was erected in the year 1500, under the auspices 
of the Cardinal d'Amboise, whose tomb lies in the cathedral, and has 
some resemblance to the crosses erected to the memory of Queen Eleanor, 
in England.] As shown in the plans and elevation, Plate XL VIII., it 
consists of three stories, of varied design, raised on a plain basement. 
In the first and second stories are canopied niches, with pedestals, &c. 
[This fountain is being rebuilt on the original model : the old one being 
too much dilapidated to allow of any partial restoration.] 



In this interesting edifice the three estates composing the Duchy of 
Normandy — viz. the deputies of the church, the nobility, and the good 
towns— formerly held their meetings. Here, also, the Court of Exchequer 
had its sittings. Where the states once deliberated, the electors of the 
department now assemble, for the purpose of naming the deputies who 
represent them in the great council of the nation. The palace, in its 
present state, is composed of three distinct buildings, erected at different 


times, and forming collectively three sides of a parallelogram, whose 
fourth side is merely an embattled wall, with an elaborate gateway. 
One of these bnildings, named the Salle des Procureurs, was erected in 
1497, six years anterior to that more properly called the Palais de 
Justice, but was subsequently annexed to the palace. The exterior of 
the Salle des Procureurs,^ the south elevation of which, with a ground 
plan and section, are shown on Plate XLIX., is comparatively simple: 
the most highly decorated part of it is the gable, which is flanked by two 
octangular turrets, shown in the same Plate. The roof is of a very high 
pitch, in which are dormer windows, of rich execution. Between the 
square windows, in the body of the hall, are buttresses with tracery. 

The interior is a fine large hall, with a wooden roof boarded under the 
braces. It is 150 feet long and 50 feet wide, and now serves the same 
purj^ose as our Westminster Hall, viz. a salle des jpas --perdus: beneath 
the hall is a prison. 

The southern building, erected exclusively for the sittings of the 
Exchequer, is very sumiDtuous in its decorations, both without and within. 
Here the windows in the body of the building have flattened elliptical 
heads; and are divided by a mullion and a transom. The mouldings 
are highly wrought .and enriched with foliage, and are nearly counterparts 
of those in the chateau at Fontaine le Henri. The dormer windows, 
vieing with those in the Place de la Pucelle, are of a difierent design, and 
form the most characteristic feature of the front: they are pointed, and 
enriched with mullions and traceiy, and are placed within triple canopies 
of nearly the same form, flanked by square pillars, terminating in tall 
crocketed pinnacles ; some of them are fronted with open arches, crowned 
with statues. A most superb specimen may be seen on reference to the 
engraved Plate of the elevation, section, and plan of the south front, 
Plate XLIX., and the other print, Plate LI., which must be valuable to 
the architect. A polygonal bay-window, of highly enriched workmanship, 
projects into the court, and varies the elevation. Much of the interest of 
the Palais de Justice has been destroyed by its not having been allowed 
to continue in its original state; for one half of it has been degraded by 

[' Built originally as an exchange for native and foreign merchants.] 


alterations, or stripiDed of its ornaments. The room in which the 
parliament formerly met, and which is now employed for the trial 
of criminal causes, still remains comparatively uninjured.^ Its ceiling 
of oak, nearly as black as ebony, divided into numerous compartments, 
and covered with a profusion of carving and gilt ornaments, affords 
a gorgeous example of the taste of the times when constructed. The 
open-work bosses of this ceiling are gone, as are the doors enriched 
with sculpture, and the ancient chimney-piece, and the escutcheons 
charged with sacred devices, and the great painting by which, before 
the Revolution, witnesses were made to swear. Around the apartment 
are several sentences, in letters of gold, reminding judges, jurors, 
witnesses, and suitors, of their duties. [The ancient wainscotting round 
the room, painted over with arabesques and old mottoes, has since been 
taken down or effaced by whitewash.] The room itself is said to be the 
most beautiful in France for its proportions and quantity of light. [A 
new wing in the style of the rest of the building has been erected 
opposite to the Salle des Procureurs, thus completing three sides of the 
great court, the fourth side being inclosed by railings.] 



In the Place de la Pucelle d' Orleans is a large house of stone, &c., 
partly of the same era as the Palais de Justice, but richer in its 
sculptures. It is the only house of the kind remaining at Rouen, and 
may be regarded as the most curious specimen of domestic architecture in 
Normandy. This hotel was erected in 1506 by Guillaume de Roux, the 
twelfth of that name. Lord of Bourgtheroulde, and finished in 1537 by his 
son the Abbe' d'Aumale, whose arms are emblazoned in various parts of 
the edifice. The entire front is divided into compartments by slender 

[' Since this was written tlie whole ceiling has been restored by M. VioUet le Due] 



buttresses or pilasters. The intervening spaces are filled with bas- 
reliefs, evidently executed by dilFerent masters; and there is not a single 
square foot of this extraordinary building which has not been orna- 

The principal fa(^ade of the court, represented in Plate LV., is also 
decorated with bas-reliefs, very rich in their composition and execution, 
which extend under all the windows of the first story, and also below 
those of the upper tier. A banquet beneath a window in the first floor 
is in a good cinque-cento style. Others represent the labours of the field 
and the vineyard, fishing, &c.; all are rich and fanciful in costume. The 
salamander, the emblem of Francis I., appears several times very con- 
spicuously amongst the ornaments. Many of the bas-reliefs are engraved 
and minutely described by E. H. Langlois in his Description Historique des 
Maisons de Rouen. On the north side, and joining the octagonal tower, 
extends a spacious gallery, the architecture of which is rather in Holbein's 
manner. Foliaged and swelling pilasters, like antique candelabra, decorate 
the jambs of the windows. Beneath is the well-known series of bas-reliefs, 
executed on marble tablets, representing the interview between Francis 
I. of France and Henry VIII. of England, in the Champ du Drap d'Or, 
between Guisnes and Ardres; the heads of these kings are placed within two 
niches on each side of the gateway entering the court. They were first 
discovered by the venerable Father Montfaucon, who had them engraved 
for his Monumens de la Monarchie Frangaise. These sculptures are 
much mutilated, and so obscured by smoke and dirt, that the details 
cannot be easily understood. The corresponding tablets, above the win- 
dows, are even in a worse condition, and appear to have been almost 
unintelligibk in the time of Montfaucon, who conjectured that they were 
allegorical, and intended to represent the triumph of religion. Each 
tablet contains a triumphal car, drawn by difl'erent animals, and crowded 
with mythological figures and attributes. The finial of one of the tower 
roofs is composed of a group of leaden thistles, which has proved a puzzle 
to antiquaries. (See Plate LV. b.) 

[Very little now (1874) remains of the external elevation, a small 
drawing of which is given in Plate L VI. ; the corner turret fell down some 


twenty years ago, and about that time the entrance doorway was refaced 
with stone, with the intention of copying the ancient flamboyant 
ornamental details; this, however, has not yet been done, so that the 
stone is left in block. The rest of the building is in very fair condition.] 



Whatever may have been the character and beauty of this build- 
ing originally, very little now remains, and that is of comparatively 
modern date. [The earliest monastery was a dependency of St. Ouen; 
and was several times devastated. It was founded in 1030, destroyed 
by fire in 1126 and in 1562, and ceased to exist as a monastic establish- 
ment in 1569.] The illustrations in Plates L VII. and L VIII. represent 
the style of decoration prevailing in the house which belonged to the 
abbess, and which is in a great degree in ruins. What remains, how- 
ever, is very curious; and is perhaps the oldest specimen of domestic 
architecture in Rouen. It is partly of wood, the front carved with 
arches and other sculpture in bas-relief, and partly of stone. The 
building surrounds a courtyard, at one angle of which is a polygonal 
turret, with the arms of the abbess, Marie d'Annebaut, who governed 
here in 1532. The northern side of the court was built at the end of the 
fifteenth century, under the abbacy of Thomasse Daniel. The facade, 
except the ground floor, is entirely of timber, richly adorned with panels, 
tracery, &c., and with windows of painted glass. On the first story is a 
room having two chimneys, with a ceiling of timber, divided into squares 
and painted scroll-work. The whole of this apartment is decorated with 
carvings, executed with the greatest delicacy. The mantle-piece of one 
of the fireplaces is imitative of a hurdle, and has the arms of the Daniels, 
much mutilated. The whole is crowned by a frieze of arabesques, in the 
midst of which are the arms of Guillemette d'Assy, who was abbess in 


1518. The mantle-piece, also similarly charged, has columns decorated 
with capitals, singularly composed of heads of cherubim. The gateway 
to this ancient ahhej, which was founded in 1030, was in the Rue 
St. Amand, near the parish church, and opposite the Rue de la Chaine. 
It is of the time of Louis XIV., was built in the ancient walls of the 
convent, and is now in the same state as it was in 1792. [The abbey 
is now occupied by the Hotel St. Amand, Rue Imperiale, No. 35. 
Mr. W. Burges, in his folio of architectural drawings, gives a Plate 
representing the wainscotting which lined one of the rooms in this abbey, 
and makes the following remarks: "Until late years the buildings 
of the Abbey of St. Amand presented three objects of interest to the 
student. The first was a wooden house, the timbers of which were 
carved into buttresses, pinnacles, and mouldings, and carved tracery 
panels were emjjloyed for the filling in" (illustrated in Plate LVII.). 
"This building, I believe, still exists.^ The second object was a beautiful 
tourelle of the very best time of the Renaissance. , . . The third thing was 
a room entirely lined with wainscotting. . . . On the chimney occurred the 
arms of Guillemette dAssy, 1518; but on the painting are those of the 
house of Souvre, of which there were no less than three abbesses, a long- 
time after Guillemette d'Assy. For this reason, E. H. Langlois (liaisons de 
Rouen) thinks that the painting must be far later than the wainscotting ; 
but after all, these arms might merely indicate a renewal of the colours 
on the rails and stiles, as these latter were found eventually to have 
been several times repainted. In 1853, almost immediately after my 
visit, the place was destroyed, to make room for a new wide street. The 
wooden house still remains, but the tourelle and panelling were bought 
by a speculating builder, who has put them up in a modern suburban 
villa, where they were to be seen a few years ago, restored and spoiled."] 

^The piercing of the Eue Imperiale (now Rue de la Eepublique), and the rebuilding of the houses on 
a larger scale in consequence, has almost destroyed the whole of this very fine timber facade.] 




The date of the foundation is uncertain, but an edifice ^vas built on 
this site in 1063, when Duke William attended at the dedication. 
[M. Viollet le Due says {Did. Raisonne, vol. ii. p. 361), "The Cathedral of 
Rouen, already in the twelfth century occupied all the ground it now 
covers. Rebuilt for the third time during the eleventh century, it was 
again reconstructed during the second half of the twelfth century in the 
transition style. Of these constructions there remains only the tower 
called St. Remain, on the north side of the western porch, the two 
apsidal chapels, those of the transepts, and the tw^o doorways of the 
facade, opening into the nave aisles; these last portions would seem to 
belong to the end of the twelfth century. When Ptichard Coeur de Lion 
died, therefore, in 1199, the cathedral occupied the whole of the present 
site. Shortly after the seizure of Normandy by Philip Augustus in 
1204, and its union to the crown of France, great works were under- 
taken; the nave, transepts and choir were rebuilt after a fire which 
probably damaged considerably the twelfth- century church. Towards 
the end of the thirteenth century chapels w^ere built between the 
buttresses of the nave aisles. In 1302 was commenced the reconstruction 
of the Lady Chapel on a larger scale than the twelfth-century chapel 
previously existing; and about this period the two gables of the north and 
south transepts (portail de la Calende et portail des Libraires) were 
reconstructed. These works of the beginning of the fourteenth century 
surpass both in richness of design and beauty of execution all we know 
of the same kind and belonging to this period. In 1430 the windows 
of the choir were enlarged to obtain more light, and the windows of the 
nave, a considerable portion of the exterior cornices, &c., and the interior 
galleries were also modified during the fifteenth century. In 1485 was 
commenced the construction of the tower known as the tour de Beurre, 
and in 1509 the Cardinal Georges d'Amboise commenced the reconstruction 
of the western facade, which has never been completed. In the thir- 


teenth ceutiuy, on the pillars of the intersection of nave and transept, 
there existed already a lofty square tower, of which two stories still 
remain. These were injured by the wind in 1353, repaired afterward, 
and burned in 1514. They were a second time restored, and surmounted 
with an immense fleche or spire of wood, covered with lead, which was 
comiDleted in 1544. This spire was destroyed by lightning in 1821;" 
and we regret to say replaced by one of the most hideous features ever 
conceived — a cast-iron spire, inclined out of the perpendicular, and still 
wanting some 20 feet more in height and a finial to complete it.] In 
1538 Cardinal Georges d'Amboise, the great benefactor, restored the roof 
of the choir, which had been injured in 1514 by the destruction of the 

On the northern side of the cathedral is the cloister-court, only a few 
arches of which now remain. This appears on the eastern side to have 
consisted of a double aisle or ambulatory. In Plate LXI. is engraved one 
of the doorways on the north side of this cloister, and it wdll be found 
to be an interesting specimen. From a series of small clustered columns 
rises a pointed arch, richly ornamented, and decorated wdth crockets. 
The doors are square-headed, and divided by a pier or cluster-column 
{trumeau), and the upper part of the arch is filled up and relieved by 
trefoils and a quatrefoil, in which, from a sculptured bracket, rises a 
headless saint, holding a book. There is another saint on the apex of 
the arch, and two female figures are placed, one on each side, at the 
sj)ringing of the arch. The northern transept is approached through a 
gloomy court, once occupied by the shops of the transcribers and calli- 
graphists, the Lihraires of ancient times, and from them it has derived 
its name. The Cour des Lihraires is entered beneath a gateway of beau- 
tiful and singular architecture, composed of two lofty pointed arches, of 
equal height, crowned by a row of smaller arcades; and is flanked 
by buttresses decorated with niches, with canopies and pediments, and 
other buttresses terminating in finials. One of the gateways is engraved 
in Plate LXII., where are also some sections, plans, and mouldings, 
in detail; and in Plate L XVIII. a representation is given of one 
half of the wooden door, which is most highly adorned with panelling 


and traceiy. The staircase in the north transept and adjoining the 
doorway is peculiarly delicate and beautiful (see Plates LIX. and LX.) 
Its date being well ascertained, we may note it as an architectural 
standard. It was erected by the Archbishop Cardinal d'Etouteville, about 
1460, forty years subsequently to the building of the room above. 



Vaucelles is at this time the largest of the five parishes composing 
the faubourgs of Caen, from which town it is separated by the canal 
of the Orne. Of the precise date of the church, which is situated on 
an eminence, forming a picturesque object in a distant view, we have no 
accurate information: it exhibits specimens of many of the styles of 
architecture which prevailed between the tenth and sixteenth centuries. 
The ancient tower, and the piers supporting it, belong to an ancient 
church of the eleventh or twelfth century. The tower is square and 
massy, and surmounted by a pyramidal stone roof or stunted spire. The 
basement story is plain, and only pierced by one single window of very 
small dimensions. A second story extends from the cornice of the body 
of the church to the pitch of the roof, and is decorated by small semi- 
circular arches, without either mouldings or imposts. Each face of the 
upper story is occupied by a series of three long and narrow Norman 
arches, supported by columns having bases and capitals, as are those 
of the small round turret at the angle of the tower. It is probable that 
a part of the nave is of the same age as this tower, for some of the 
arches appear originally to have been of the semicircular form.^ [The 
choir and chapels belong, according to De Caumont, to the fifteenth 
century, the nave and side aisles to the sixteenth, and the subsequent 
additions to the nave, the west faqade, and a second tower, date from 1780.] 

' A beautiful etching of this tower apjiears in Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of Normandy. 


The north porch/ with the chapel attached to it, is an interesting and 
singular specimen of the decorative style of the latter part of the 
fourteenth century. Plate LXIII. represents an elevation of the front 
and flank, with measurements and some details. It is entered through 
a jjointed arch elaborately decorated and having its inner archivolt 
fringed with pendant trefoils, a series of which adorn the two cop- 
ings of the gable: the exterior corbel of the archivolt is crocketed, 
and finishes in a pinnacle, which serves for the base of a statue placed 
in the tympanum of the gable, which is filled in with flowing tracery. 
The pointed arch is flanked by graduated buttresses, cut into panels, 
decorated with tabernacle work, and surmounted by pinnacles, which 
in the Plate are restorations. The vaulting is ribbed ; and the entrances 
into the church are by two flat elliptical arches under crocketed ogee 
canopies, between which is a piece of sculpture standing on a bold 
pedestal. This is said to represent St. Michael, the patron saint. 



The church at Caudebec, a town seated on the eastern bank of the 
river Seine, about eighteen miles north of Rouen, is an interesting speci- 
men of that style of architecture in which the transition from fifteenth- 
century Flamboyant to sixteenth-century Renaissance is foreshadowed, as 
may be seen in the engraving, Plate LXIV, [The church being erected in 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, was commenced in the Gothic, and 
terminated in the Renaissance style. It consists of nave and side aisles, 
with chapels, and a choir with radiating chapels. The greater portion of 
the church dates' from 1450, and the architect, who died in 1484, lies buried 
in the church. The tower on the north side of the church was begun in 
1426, and rises with its spire to a height of 320 feet, the flamboj^ant tracery 
in it taking the form of fleurs-de-lis.] 

■* This porch nearly resembles the southern porch to tlie church of St. Oueu at Eouen. 


The engraving, Plate LXIV., shows one compartment of the sacristy 
externally, also a section and details at large. The windows and orna- 
ments of this part of the building are unlike anything we have in England, 
and seem to belong rather to the domestic than to the ecclesiastical archi- 
tecture, as may be seen by referring to the engravings of Fontaine le 
Henri and the H6tel de Bourgtheroulde, Plates LXXI. — LXXIII. and 
LV.L VI. In Plate LX V. there is given a plan and section of a part of the 
church, called the Lady Chapel, which was chosen for delineation on 
account of the singularly constructed pendantive roof ^ Dr. Dibdin says, 
"The church has numerous side chapels and figures of patron saints. The 
entombment of Christ, in white marble, at the end of the Chapel of the 

[ ^ An interesting correspondence relative to the section of this pendantive roof, Plaie LXV., 
appeared in the Builder in 1871, in consequence of some doubts having been expressed as to its 
exact correctness, from the diflScuIty of obtaining entrance to the hollow space or pocket between the 
upper and lower webs, and the explanations of Mr. Benjamin Ferrey and Mr. Talbot Bury, who accom- 
panied Mr. Pugin and measured the whole chapel, are of considerable interest, not only placing beyond 
dispute the accuracy and correctness of the measured drawings, but showing the eager interest in 
mediaeval art which Pugin was able to impart to others. Mr. Ferrey writes, p. 1042, vol. xxviii., " I have 
a most vivid recollection of the intense interest which the elder Pugin felt in the construction of the 
great pendant of this chapel. I can answer for it that there is nothing in his illustration of it as shown 
in Plale LXV. but what is perfectly correct. An opening being made through the tufa of the groining 
at the top, some of us got in, and no little trouble was it to get out again: but, -vvith a light, there was 
no difficulty in ascertaining the sizes of the voussoirs resting upon the huge keystone of the groining, 
a monolith of upwards of seventeen feet long. There may be some conjecture as to the sizes of the 
voussoirs built into the external angular buttresses, but in all probability they would correspond with 
those visible to the eye. The striking feature, however, of the Lady Chapel, both in execution and effect, 
is this surprising pendant; its appearance looks quite perilous, and until Pugin, with his wonted 
energy, had a hole made and found out the exact nature of the construction, all sorts of notions were 
prevalent, many believing that iron suspension-rods, &c., were employed." Mr. Talbot Bury, in p. 20, 
vol. xxix., who measured the chapel, confirms Mr. Ferrey's statements, and writes, " I have a very vivid 
recollection of everything connected with the remarkable pendant of this chapel, and had additional cause 
for it, as, having got into a hole made in the inner arch, for the purpose of examining this pendant, I ran 
the risk of immolation for the cause of Gothic art, by a total inability for some time to get out again — 
thus nearly converting that very interesting groining into a very uninteresting mausoleum for myself. . . . 
I am able to take the responsibility on myself" (viz. of the correctness of the drawing), "as the plate of 
the Lady Chapel published in Pugin's Architecture of Normandy was drawn by me from my own sketches 
and measurements, in which there is but one omission, and that is — the junction of the large arch with 
the wall was filled in and weighted to hinder the upward thrust. The section of this groin in Gwilt, 
Supplement to the Encyclopcedia of Architecture (published in 1851), does not fully explain its peculiarities, 
and would lead to the supposition that the whole of the top of the groining is three feet one inch in 
thickness, whereas there are only six large ribs of that size starting from the internal angles, meeting in 
the centre, and holding up this pendant stone of seventeen feet long, from which the moulded groinings 


Virgin, is rather singular, inasmncli as the figure of Christ is ancient, 
and exceeding!}' fine in anatomical expression; but the usual surrounding 
figures are modern, and proj)ortionally clumsy and inexpressive."^ 



Of this once noted edifice our illustration is confined to elevations, and 
a series of plans and sections of two turrets, which are interesting speci- 
mens of ancient domestic architecture, and both are appropriated to stairs. 
The principal facade of this palace was built about tlie middle of the 
fifteenth century by the Caixlinal d'Etouteville, and consisted of several 
apartments, surrounding a large square court. At one angle of this area 
is a spacious gateway, of rustic work, in the Tuscan style: this is con- 
nected with a staircase, which leads to a state-gallery. [This palace has 
lately been restored, as well as the two turrets above mentioned.] 



[This church, the third in imijortance among Rouen churches, was 
built on the foundations of a chapel dating from the commencement of 

and ornament are suspended. Mr. Pugin's plate gives two sections, one showing how the spaces between 
these large ribs are arched in with tufa of six inches thick, and into this a small hole was made by 
which I got into the space, where by candle-light I could examine and measure it all. I must further 
state that a part of the high-jointed roof was taken off to allow of entrance to top of groining. Having 
explained how the examination was made, I must direct attention to the very bolrl and j-et careful 
construction here carried out. To avoid any pressure on the moulded ribs of the interior of the chapel 
from the subsidence of the large arch, a space has been left between them, and this has had the desired 
effect, for the joints of the moulded groining were as perfect when I saw it as if the hand of the mason 
had just left it; and all glory to those of the medieval men who designed so beautifully and built 
so well. "J 

^Dibdin (Rev. T. F.), A Bibliographical, Antiquarian, dr.. Tour, vol. i. p. 210. 


the thirteenth century, and several times burnt; though mainly built 
between the years 1432-79, ib was not terminated till the beginning of 
the sixteenth century. Its western porch is certainly one of the finest 
and most elaborate of the fifteenth century; it occupies the whole of the 
western facade, and is especially interesting on account of the peculiar 
arrangement by which it accommodates itself to the surrounding streets. 
The two side porches are placed at slight angles with the central one, to 
afibrd, as it were, a more easy access to those who came from the right 
or left. We have noticed a similar arrano-ement in the Church of St. 
Vincent, but here the porch is not detached from the church, but forms 
its west facade, the side porches opening directly into the side aisles of the 
nave.] Within this church, near the western entrance, is the unique 
staircase, delineated in Plate LXVII., wdiich represents it in elevation, 
section, and by plans, w^hereby its general design and subordinate details' 
may be fully understood. It formerly conducted to the organ-loft. The 
elegant carved doors of this church were executed by Jean Goujon, the 
eminent sculptor." [Within the last twelve years a fleche has been added 
to the central tower. The design for it was taken from a model in card- 
board of the fifteenth century, which may now be seen in the " Musee 
de'partemental d'Antiquite's." To M. Barthelemy, the architect to the 
cathedral, was intrusted the construction of this fleche.] 



[The framing of these doors is unfortunately not shown, so that we are 
able to deal with their decoration only. This, however, seems to follow 
the construction of the doors; in other words, the vertical lines repre- 
senting piers and buttresses may be taken to represent the stiles, and the 
horizontal cills and string-courses the rails of the framing. 

^ Mr. Turner states, that it was constructed in 1512, and, according to common phraseology, by 
voluntary subscriptions, although the volunteers -were bribed by the assurance of forty days' and one 
hundred days' indulgences. 


Portions of tlie decorative work would seem to have been nailed on 
afterwards, the linen pattern and probably the tracery in the panels 
having been carved out of the solid. 

The earliest example is that from St. Peter's at Caen, Plate LXIX., 
No. 2, which dates from the second half of the fourteenth century; the 
others are fine specimens of Flamboyant woodwork, the intersecting of 
the vertical and horizontal mouldings being very characteristic of the style. 

The treatment of the linen pattern in the middle panels of the door 
from Notre Dame at Caen is more than usually naturalistic, and would 
go far to prove the truth of M. Viollet le Due's argument (Dictionnaire 
Renaissance, vol. vi. page 360) that this ornament was derived from 
a custom in vogue previous to the fifteenth century of suspending skins 
and tajiestry in the j^anels of furniture.] 



[This church stands on the south side of the "Grande Place" of 
Dieppe. The present building was commenced in 1250, on the remains 
of an ancient monastic establishment, and was dedicated to St. Jacques 
in 1282. The chapels, nineteen in number, were not completed till 1354. 
The tower at the south-west end dates from 1443, and much of the interior 
vaulting is intermixed with Renaissance work. The lady chapel, though 
very pure in design, is still one of the latest specimens of Gothic work, 
the bosses of the ribbed vaulting are elaborately carved, and the ribs 
have small pendants at their intersections; the windows of this lady 
chapel are acutely pointed, and have horizontal transoms, an unusual 
feature in French architecture.] 

Of this very interesting edifice we have only one engraving, represent- 
ing part of a very elaborate stone screen in the north transept, or "aisle of 
the choir;" it incloses a chantry chapel, which, like the lady chapel, 
exhibits a singular mixture of pointed forms with Renaissance features: 


parts of it are said to resemble the tomb of Bishop Fox, at Winchester.^] 
The plate {LXX.) shows the two doorways of the screen with rich pierced 
tracery above ; on one half of the drav/ing the setting out lines only are 
indicated. In Mr. Cotman's Architectural Antiquities are views of the 
western front of this church, and also the east end, both of which display 
a profusion of enriched sculpture, in crockets, finials, tracery, double 
flying buttresses, an elegant rose window, &c. At the south angle of the 
west front is a square tower, of handsome design, and highly decorated 
with ornaments. 



The chateau or mansion represented in these Plates is situated about 
eight miles north of Caen. 

The view of the whole front {Plate LXXL), and elevations of two of 
its Avindows, will fully elucidate the external features of this chateau: 
it appears to belong to several epochs ; the most ancient part is that on 
the right, which may date from the end of the fifteenth or beginning of 
the sixteenth century. The left wing probably belongs to the time of 
Francis I., there being in fact a date of 1537 on one of the windows. 

Speaking of this house, and of two others of similar character in Caen 
and Rouen, Mr. Turner remarks: "Specimens like these are curious in 
the history of the arts; they show the progress that architecture had 
made in Normandy at one of the most interesting periods in French 
history : they also show its relative state as respectively applied to civil 
and religious purposes."^ "This chateau," says the same author, "is a 
noble building, and a characteristic specimen of the residences of the 
French noblesse during the latter part of the fifteenth century, at which 
period there is no doubt of its having been erected, although no records 
whatever are left upon the subject. Fontaine le Henri was then still in 

1 Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, vol. ii. p. 38. 

2 Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, vol. i. p. G8. 


the possession of the family of Harcourt, whose fortune and consequence 
might naturally be expected to give rise to a similar building. As com- 
pared with the mansions of the English nobility, this chateau may be 
advantageously viewed in conjunction with Longleat, in Wiltshire/ the 
noble seat of the Marquis of Bath. The erection of the latter was not 
commenced till the year 1567, thus leaving an interval of at least half a 
century between them; a period probably much the same as may be 
presumed from other documents to have intervened between the intro- 
duction of the Italian style of architecture in France and England. 
Longleat was built by John of Padua — Fontaine Henri was also the 
work of Transalpine architects — both of them bear decided marks of the 
nation to which they owe their origin; but in the English mansion the 
Italian features are more decidedly enounced, while in the French they 
are strikingly modified by the peculiarities of their adopted country; 
and this remark would apply generally to all the introductions of foreign 
styles into our country when compared with those in France." Most of 
the exterior surface of this building is covered with " medallions, scrolls, 
friezes, canopies, statues, and arabesques, in bas-relief, worked with 
extraordinary care and great beauty. Their style is that of the loggia 
of Raphael; or, to compare them with another Norman subject of the 
same era, of the sculptures upon the mausoleum raised to the Cardinal 
d'Amboise, in Rouen Cathedral. "- 

[In Plates LXXII. and LXXIII. are given details of the window on 
ground floor, and of the upper part of the tower. They are interesting 
as showing the utter decadence of the Flamboyant style previous to 
the introduction of the Renaissance. The repetition of the cold and 
senseless blank tracery above the window and in the friezes, string-courses, 
cornice, and balustrade of the upper portions of the tower, serve as 
the best apology that can be made for the introduction of the Renais- 
sance ; a comparison of these two details with the altar-pieces and vaulted 
ceilings of the chapels of St. Pierre, Caen, or the cathedral at Senlis, 
or again with the magnificent monument of the Cardinal d'Amboise in 

1 Figured and described in Britton's Architectural Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 105, &c. 
- Turner's Tour in Normanchj, vol. i. p. 157. 


the Cathedral of Rouen before referred to, cannot fail to impress the 
student that the Gothic style had died out in France, and that the 
Renaissance, with its graceful and artistic detail, supplied that innate 
craving for beautiful forms which distinguishes nearly all the architecture 
of the period of Francis I.] 



[The ornamental details represented in these Plates are from the 
various buildings, of which fuller illustrations have been already given. 
Most of them must be taken as examples of the later and more deca- 
dent period of Gothic art in Normandy, and show how the dexterity of 
the French sculptors led them in the fifteenth and sometimes in the 
sixteenth century to too close an imitation of nature. Thus we see in an 
example from St. Ouen (No. 1, Plate LXXIV.), the vine and grapes 
conventionally arranged, it is true, but copied as faithfully as it was 
possible, far beyond, however, the proper limits of stone carving. This 
is the more conspicuous in a series of examples in Plate LXXVI.. 
where the oak, the thistle, and other plants are all portrayed with 
extreme exactness. Nos. 3, 4, 2, 6, in Plate LXXIV. represent string- 
courses, in which the vegetable forms are properly conventionalized, 
and these are the examples to which we would call more particularl}^ 
the student's notice, as exemplifying that treatment which is equally 
in accordance with the principles of nature and the materialistic jaroper- 
ties of stone. The sunken quatrefoils underneath the string-courses of 
the Bayeux example is found also in the nave of the same cathedral. 
Another example exists in the upper part of the tower of St. Peter's 
Church, Caen. Three of the examples in these Plates are taken from 
secular buildings; they are all geometrical in their ornamental details, 
and the latter two particularly are essentially secular in their character. 


Of the four types of balustrades and parapets given in Plate 
LXXV. three belong to the Flamboyant period, and are amongst the 
finest siJecimens in Normandy. The decoration in the string-courses, 
above and below them, are other specimens of naturalistic foliage. 

The fourth example, from the Cathedral of Bayeux, is earlier and 
much more severe in style, though without the grace and beautiful flow 
of line which distinguishes the Flamboyant examples.] 



[As announced in the prospectus the coloured Plates of these examples 
have been omitted in the present edition, being calculated rather to mis- 
lead students than to assist them, from the difficvilty of obtaining the 
actual tones of colour in the original glass. 

The immense progress in the manufacture of stained glass which has 
taken place in England during the last thirty years, and the numerous 
works which have appeared illustrating old work has somewhat set aside 
the value which these Plates possessed, at a time when the revival of 
the manufacture by the second Pugin for various churches, and more 
especially for the Houses of Parliament, had not been thought of, so that 
these two Plates must rather be taken as suggestive of various methods 
of leading up glass than as models to be copied.] 





A . Wfstem- front 
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Pugin, Augustus Charles 

Specimens of the architec- 
ture of Mormand-'